29 Apr '11, 3am

Laos to vote for communist-dominated assembly

Laos to vote for communist-dominated assembly

HANOI: Voters in Laos go to the polls on Saturday to choose a legislature that will be entirely controlled by the ruling communists, despite signs of growing clout in recent years. There are 190 candidates vying for 132 seats in the National Assembly, up from 115 seats last time, said analysts familiar with the process in the impoverished country. A foreign diplomat in Vientiane said the assembly has evolved from being "a pure rubber stamp" into an organ with its own identity that has criticised the government and even substantially revised some laws. "I think the parliament is now a force here in politics," he said. But analysts say real power still rests with the ruling Politburo and Central Committee already chosen in March at a five-yearly Congress by fewer than 600 party members. New legislators are all likely to be members of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, the...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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