Bounnhang Vorachit

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Bounnhang Vorachit
ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ
Vorachit in 2016
General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
In office
22 January 2016 – 15 January 2021
DeputyPhankham Viphavan
(Standing Member)
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
Succeeded byThongloun Sisoulith
6th President of Laos
In office
20 April 2016 – 22 March 2021
Prime MinisterThongloun Sisoulith
Vice PresidentPhankham Viphavan
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
Succeeded byThongloun Sisoulith
4th Vice President of Laos
In office
8 June 2006 – 20 April 2016
PresidentChoummaly Sayasone
Preceded byChoummaly Sayasone
Succeeded byPhankham Viphavan
1st Standing Member of the LPRP Secretariat
In office
8 June 2006 – 21 January 2016
General SecretaryChoummaly Sayasone
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byPhankham Viphavanh
14th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
27 March 2001 – 8 June 2006
PresidentKhamtai Siphandon
Preceded bySisavath Keobounphanh
Succeeded byBouasone Bouphavanh
Minister of Finance
In office
6 August 1999 – 27 March 2001
Prime MinisterSisavath Keobounphanh
Preceded byKhamphoui Keoboualapha
Succeeded bySoukanh Mahalath
Personal details
Born (1937-08-15) 15 August 1937 (age 86)
Savannakhet, French Protectorate of Laos
Political partyLao People's Revolutionary Party (1955–present)
SpouseKhammeung Vorachit
Military service
Allegiance Laos
Branch/service LPAF
Rank Colonel[1][2]

Bounnhang Vorachit (Lao: ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ; born 15 August 1937)[3][4][5] is a Laotian politician. He was previously General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of Laos from 2016 to 2021.

Early life[edit]

Bounnhang Vorachit joined the Pathet Lao resistance movement in 1951 and worked in the propaganda department of the armed forces in Savannakhet. In 1956, he was transferred to the fighting troops. He studied in Vietnam from 1958 to 1961, then returned to Laos to help prepare for the conquest of Luang Namtha Province. After the victory in Luang Namtha in 1962, he returned to Vietnam and studied at a military college.[6]

In 1964, he returned to Laos and in 1969, became head of the organizing committee of the province Xieng Khuang. In 1972, he became Deputy Commander of the Northern Front in Luang Prabang Province. Here he also joined the coalition in 1974 and became party secretary of the defence forces of the neutral city Luang Prabang. In 1976 he became political leader of the armed forces of the northern half of the country. In 1978, he returned to Vietnam to study political theory. In 1981, he became political leader of the armed forces, and in the same year up to 1991, he also worked as Governor of Savannakhet Province until 1996, when he became Deputy Prime Minister.

Political career[edit]

Prior to becoming Prime Minister in 2001, he served as Deputy Prime Minister since 1996. In addition, he was from 1996 to 1999 Chairman of the Lao-Vietnamese Cooperation Committee and from 1999 to 2001 Minister of Finance. On 26 March 2001, he was elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of Laos. On 8 June 2006, he was followed by the former 1st Deputy Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh in the office of Prime Minister. He himself became vice-president of the Democratic People's Republic of Laos on March 8, 2006 and thus deputy to Choummaly Sayasone.

Bounnhang's ties with Vietnam run deep. He underwent military training there and, after taking part in founding the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1975, he studied socialist thought there.[6]

He became Vice President on 8 June 2006, when Bouasone Bouphavanh was appointed as Prime Minister. At the 10th Congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, he was elected to succeed Choummaly Sayasone as General Secretary on 22 January 2016, effectively making him the leader of Laos.[7] Bounnhang Vorachit is married to Khammeung Vorachit and is the father of three sons and two daughters. One of his daughters, Bounkham Vorachit, was elected to the 11th LPRP Central Committee.

At the 11th congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (2021), he stepped down as General Secretary in favor of Thongloun Sisoulith.[8]


  1. ^ McPhillips, Jody (Aug 15, 2001). "Lao Prime Minister Begins Three-Day Visit". The Cambodia Daily. Archived from the original on August 15, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-02-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Asian Survey". University of California Press. May 8, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "ຊີວະປະຫວັດຫຍໍ້ຂອງ ທ່ານ ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ". Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "ທ່ານ ບຸນຍັງ ວໍລະຈິດ - China Radio International". Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Profile: Laos' new president is last of old guard- Nikkei Asian Review". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  7. ^ "Ruling communists in Laos promote VP as country's new leader", Associated Press, 22 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Laos Communist Party names PM Thongloun as new leader". Reuters. Jan 15, 2021. Retrieved Jan 15, 2021 – via

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by General Secretary of the People's Revolutionary Party
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Laos
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of Laos
Succeeded by
President of Laos
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chairperson of ASEAN
Succeeded by