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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: 6,408,733 (2012E—UN); 6,586,266 (2012E—U.S. Census).

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 5, 2012: 7,965.38 new kips = $1US). The Thai baht also circulates.

President: CHOUMMALY SAYASONE (Lao People’s Revolutionary Party); elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term on June 8, 2006, to succeed KHAMTAY SIPHANDONE (Lao People’s Revolutionary Party); reelected June 15, 2011.

Vice President: BOUNNHANG VORACHIT (Lao People’s Revolutionary Party); elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term on June ...

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