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New provincial Party chiefs, governors take up office

The new Party chief and acting governor of Bokeo province has assumed office to lead the Party Committee and local administration of the northern province in pursuit of greater achievements in the development process.
An official ceremony held in Bokeo on Wednesday saw Mr Buakhong Nammavong replace Dr Khamphanh Pheuyavong as the province’s Party Secretary.

Politburo member and Head of the Organisation and Personnel Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP)’s Central Committee, Mr Chansy Phosikham, witnessed the ceremony.
Mr Buakhong is now also the acting governor of Bokeo. To be eligible for the post of governor, the position formerly held by Dr Khamphanh, Mr Buakhong needs the approval of the Bokeo People’s Council at the upcoming ordinary session of the council, Head of the provincial Administrative Office Mr  Phengsone Keovilay told Vientiane Times yesterday.
This session is expected to take place in December.
Mr Buakhong was previously Deputy Party Secretary and Deputy Governor of Luang Prabang province. He is also an alternative member of the Central Committee of the LPRP.
A senior official in Luang Prabang province, who attended the position handover ceremony, said an official to replace Mr Buakhong had not yet been announced.
Leaving Bokeo, Dr Khamphanh will replace Mr Phetsakhone Luang-aphay as Party Secretary and Governor of Oudomxay province.
Both Dr Khamphanh and Mr Phetsakhone are members of the Central Committee of the LPRP.
Mr Phetsakhone will take up a new position in a central-level office, a Politburo member and standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, Mr Phankham Viphavanh, announced during his recent trips to Bokeo and Oudomxay provinces.
But the new position allocated to Mr Phetsakhone was not disclosed.
The reshuffle of positions was approved by the Party Politburo - the top political decision-making body.
However, an official ceremony to announce the replacement between Dr Khamphanh and Mr Phetsakhone had not been held as of 2pm yesterday, despite a ceremony being scheduled.
An official from Oudomxay’s Organisation and Personnel Committee said the position handover ceremony was scheduled to take place yesterday, but bad weather prevented Mr Chansy and his delegation from flying from Bokeo to Oudomxay for the ceremony.
Last week, the Acting Party Secretary of Xieng Khuang province, Mr Bounton Chanthaphone, who is also acting provincial Governor, was officially promoted to the position of Xieng Khuang Party Secretary, replacing Prof. Dr Somkot Mangnomek.
To become eligible for appointment as governor, Mr Bounton needs to get approval from the Xieng Khuang Provincial People’s Council, which meets for an ordinary session this month.
The reshuffles are seen as early changes that run contrary to the normal practice of five year terms, with the next term-end slated for 2020.
Observers noted that there are two main reasons for an early change of position.
One is the removal or dismissal of leading officials or Party cadres who have indulged in misconduct or abuse of power for personal gain, which causes losses to the state and tarnishes the image of the Party leadership.
Another reason is to promote those who demonstrate good performance by offering them a more important and strategic role so they can make a greater positive impact on socio-economic development. 

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update
August 17,

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