National Assembly of Laos
The unicameral National Assembly of Laos (Sapha Heng Xat) is the parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 of Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

. It was established in its current form by the Lao Constitution of 1991 , replacing the Supreme People's Assembly. After the December 1997 elections, the number of seats were increased to 99, a new structure was announced and Samane Vignaket
Samane Vignaket
Lieutenant General Samane Vignaket is a former President of the National Assembly of Laos, who is now in charge of ideological and cultural works of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party . He is a member of the LPRP Politburo....

 was elected as its president. The National Assembly meets in Vientiane
-Geography:Vientiane is situated on a bend of the Mekong river, which forms the border with Thailand at this point.-Climate:Vientiane features a tropical wet and dry climate with a distinct monsoon season and a dry season. Vientiane’s dry season spans from November through March. April marks the...


Laos is a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

. This means that only one political party, the Revolutionary People's Party of Laos, is legally allowed to hold effective power. Most of the National Assembly's actions simply rubber stamp
Rubber stamp (politics)
A rubber stamp, as a political metaphor, refers to a person or institution with considerable de jure power but little de facto power; one that rarely disagrees with more powerful organs....

 the party's decisions, but efforts have been made to increase the capacity of its members, aiming to strengthen their legislative, oversight, and representational capacities.

The current body, elected in national polling on April 30, 2006 has 115 members, elected for a five-year term. It met for the first time on June 8, 2006. Thongsing Thammavong
Thongsing Thammavong
Thongsing Thammavong is a Laotian politician. He is a member of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and has been a member of the LPRP Politburo since 1991. He currently serves in the National Assembly of Laos, representing Luang Prabang Province , and was the President of the National Assembly...

 was elected the Assembly's president. Vice-President is Mrs Pany Yathotou and Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane.


Parliamentary committees of the National Assembly currently include:
  • Law Committee
  • Economy, Planning and Finance Committee
  • Cultural and Social Committee
  • Ethnic Affairs Committee
  • National Defence and Security Committee
  • Foreign Affairs Committee
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