Lao Government Authorizes Draft Laws for Parliamentary Debate

Laos Draft Laws

Seven new and amended draft laws were approved by the government cabinet on Thursday,

which will be submitted for debate to the upcoming ordinary session of the National Assembly (NA) scheduled for April.

Cabinet members and invited guests attended the day-and-a-half meeting and entrusted the pertinent ministries to revise the drafts accordingly with recommendations made by cabinet members.

The cabinet’s extraordinary meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, closed February with endorsed draft laws on international conventions and agreements, the civil code, criminal code, and the Lao Red Cross.

An amended law on public security, along with draft laws on radio frequencies and performing arts were also passed.

With cabinet members’ opinions conflicting over the drafted law on Lao Red Cross, the meeting informed the organisation to improve the draft and to return it to the next government monthly meeting before submitting it to the NA.

The extraordinary meeting took place with the government striving to pursue its focus on developing Laos as a state ruled by law, as adopted in the resolution of the 10th Party Congress, as well attempting the five-year (2016-2020) objective of the NA passing 105 new and amended laws in total.

Several lawmakers have expressed their concerns that the objective is overly ambitious due to the government and parliament’s excessively busy schedule.

Though a considerable amount of laws have been passed and declared in previous years, members of parliament have mentioned on multiple occasions during NA ordinary session debates that a multitude of laws coming into effect have been poorly enforced. This has resulted in  undermining the efforts in developing Laos as a society governed by the rule of law.

Currently more than 100 laws, along with additional regulations accompanying the laws, have been promulgated.

With the draft laws previously debated at the extraordinary meeting, the cabinet will have the opportunity to address more pressing topics during the government’s monthly ordinary meeting agenda for February expected to commence in a week’s time.

In preparation for next week’s meeting, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith informed the cabinet to prepare the upcoming agenda accordingly, while also prioritizing the agenda for the nearing fourth plenary session of the Party Central Committee (10th tenure) scheduled to take place next month.