Lao People's Democratic Republic
Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxôn Lao
Political Status: Fully independent constitutional monarchy proclaimed October 23, 1953; Communist-led people's democratic republic established December 2, 1975; present constitution adopted August 14, 1991.
Area: 91,428 sq. mi. (236,800 sq. km.).
Population: 4,581,258 (1995C); 5,552,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Center (2005E): VIENTIANE (Viangchan, 730,000).
Official Language: Lao (English is considered the business language in government circles).
Monetary Unit: New Kip (market rate November 1, 2008: 8,569.00 new kips = $1US). The Thai baht also circulates.
President: CHOUMMALY SAYASONE; elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term on June 8, 2006, to succeed KHAMTAY SIPHANDONE.
Vice President: BOUNNHANG VORACHIT; elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term on June 8, 2006, to succeed CHOUMMALY SAYASONE.
Prime Minister: BOUASONE BOUPHAVANH; approved by the National Assembly on June 8, ...