Government Cracks Down on Corruption, Grants Amnesty in Commitment to Social Justice

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Representational image (Photo: State Department)

Savannakhet authorities disciplined 69 officials through expulsion and dismissal over corruption allegations, while the Lao government granted amnesty to more than 1,800 prisoners. These two parallel initiatives highlight the government’s efforts to uphold integrity within its ranks and foster a climate of social justice.

In the latest crackdown on corruption, Savannakhet authorities have taken decisive action against corruption, disciplining 69 government officials, including 17 Party members, as revealed by the State Inspection Authority.

Savannakhet Governor Bounchom Ubonpaseuth disclosed that the individuals facing discipline were discovered to have violated both party regulations and state laws, involving themselves in corrupt practices and various forms of misconduct.

To penalize the implicated officials, the measures comprised the expulsion of 17 Party members, the dismissal of 28 government officials, and the demotion of one politician to a lower rank, with 13 officials receiving warnings for their misconduct.

Additionally, the province’s organization and personnel department uncovered that 54 projects had operated in noncompliance with the law, such as infrastructure development, mining, and environmental projects, resulting in substantial losses exceeding USD 8 million.

Provincial authorities pledged to address these deficiencies and ensure the rectification of breaches of regulations in the concerned sectors

Khamphan noted ongoing concerns, including the government’s recruitment process, illegal tracking of natural resources, and environmental protection, and urged the provincial authorities to address gaps in revenue collection, manage ambiguous debts, and enforce proper accounting systems in businesses.

The government’s commitment to combating wrongdoing has resulted in more incidents coming to light, with over 30 officials in Savannakhet province recently disciplined for corruption and other misconduct. Additionally, in September 2018, the Ministry of Finance expelled eight corrupt officials.

In another effort, the Lao government’s amnesty initiatives pardoned 1,824 prisoners in 2023. This reflects the government’s dedication to promoting social peace and justice. Amnesty was granted to those, both Lao and foreign, who showed positive behavior, personal development, remorse, and active self-improvement during their time in prison.

Out of the 1,824 prisoners granted clemency, including 238 women and 16 foreigners, 1,602 will see reduced sentences, and 222 will be fully granted amnesty.