Lao Economy

Lao Ruling Communist Party To Strengthen Fight Against Corruption

Source: Global Times

Laos’ ruling communist party, Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, has vowed to strengthen efforts in fighting corruption, state-run online newspaper Vientiane Times reported Saturday.

Taking a tougher stance in the battle against corruption and inappropriate bureaucracy was one of the most important decisions of the Third Session of the 10th Party Central Committee (PCC), according to the report.

The PCC members agreed to strengthen their efforts after learning that corruption and burdensome bureaucracy were occurring in different forms and different levels throughout state sectors.

The PCC agreed to put in place stronger measures to address undesirable practices within Party and government bodies and to improve the efficiency of state management and law enforcement.

The two-day meeting, concluded on Wednesday, was chaired by Party Secretary General and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachit and highlighted the need for the government to further improve its operations.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith vowed to fight corruption, a chronic problem for Lao society for decades, when he assumed office in April. A number of issues have since been addressed including inflated electricity bills, illegal logging, and fuel tariff exemptions.

At the meeting, participants agreed to build the Party with transparency, encouraging Party members to devote themselves wholeheartedly to this cause.

Addressing a nationwide meeting on personnel-organization affairs in August, Bounnhang said immoral members must be removed from the Party and stressed the importance of instilling revolutionary morality in them.

Over the past five years, more than 1,800 Party members have failed to follow Party discipline, ranging from minor infringements to major acts of wrongdoing.

Some people only joined the Party for their own benefit while others gave bribes in both direct and indirect ways so they could become Party members.

The growth in Party membership over the past five years has been partly due to nepotism and, although the number of Party members has increased, the quality is not as high as anticipated.

There are currently over 281,000 Party members nationwide, an increase of 27.7 percent compared to 2011. Of this number, 63,748 are women.

Members aged between 18 and 39 represent 43 percent of the total figure; those aged between 40 and 49 make up 31 percent; and those aged 51 or more account for 26 percent.

Laos is the least developed country in Asia and over the past 40 years, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has led the multi-ethnic country to fulfil the two strategic tasks of national defense and development.

As a result, socio-economic development has grown strongly and the number of poor people has declined continuously.