Draft Law to Empower National Assembly in Approving Reshuffles

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National Assembly Draft Law on National Assembly

National Assembly members held discussions on Tuesday in regard to giving the National Assembly’s own standing committee the power to approve immediate appointments and reshuffle high-level cabinet officials.

Lawmakers debated a proposed law amending articles in the Law on the National Assembly, the Provincial People’s Council Law, and the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Council Law on Selection of Representatives.

Under existing regulations, the election and dismissal of the president, vice president, prime minister, and other high-level members of the state is the total mandate of the parliament alone.

Consideration and approval of the organizational structure of state bodies and government cabinet, as well as passing a vote of no confidence in individual cabinet members and dismissing them from their posts, also comes under the powers of the National Assembly.

The Provincial People’s Councils have similar powers at the provincial level.

Amendments made to the new draft legislation would give the Standing Committee of the National Assembly the power to consider and approve the appointments, transfer and dismissal of high-level personnel in state bodies, including members of the Cabinet in urgent cases.

When immediate consideration and approval are made, a resolution on the matter must be submitted to the National Assembly by the Standing Committee which meets biannually for debate sessions.

According to the Vientiane Times, National Assembly Vice President Mr. Somphanh Phengkhammy, who presided over yesterday’s debate, said real circumstances underlined the need to give that power to the standing committee in urgent cases.

He said that the six-month waiting period for a session of the Assembly was too long and not suitable in urgent cases.

Under the draft law, elections and dismissal with regard to the top four posts of state president, vice president, president of the National Assembly and Prime Minister will remain under the absolute power of the National Assembly.

During the debate, the member for Champasack Province, Mr. Somchay Sihachak, argued that the President of the People’s Supreme Court and Supreme Prosecutor should also only be elected or replaced by the National Assembly.

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