Khamtai Siphandon

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Khamtai Siphandone
ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ
Sultan of Brunei with Khamtay Siphandone (cropped).png
2nd Chairman of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
In office
24 November 1992 – 21 March 2006
Preceded by Kaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded by Choummaly Sayasone
4th President of Laos
In office
24 February 1998 – 8 June 2006
Prime Minister Sisavath Keobounphanh
Bounnhang Vorachith
Vice President Oudom Khattigna
Choummaly Sayasone
Preceded by Nouhak Phoumsavanh
Succeeded by Choummaly Sayasone
12th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
15 August 1991 – 24 February 1998
President Kaysone Phomvihane
Nouhak Phoumsavanh
Preceded by Kaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded by Sisavath Keobounphanh
Personal details
Born (1924-02-08) 8 February 1924 (age 94)
Laos
Political party Lao People's Revolutionary Party

General Khamtai Siphandone (Lao: ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ; born 8 February 1924)[1] is a Laotian politician who was President of Laos[2] from 24 February 1998, until 8 June 2006, when he was replaced by Choummaly Sayasone. He was a member of the Communist Party of Indochina in 1954 and a member of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party in 1956.

Early life[edit]

Siphandon comes from a peasant family from the far south of Laos. His first job was as a postman. He joined the national liberation movement Lao Issara after the end of the Second World War, which stood for the independence of Laos and against the return of the French protectorate administration. Before the French regained control of Savannakhet in March 1946, Siphandon seized the entire provincial fund (150,000 piastres). He became an officer of the armed wing of the movement and in 1948 their representative for southern Laos. After the split of Lao Issara in 1950 he joined the Pro-Vietnamese-backed Pathet Lao.[3]

In 1954 he became a member of the Communist Party of Indochina, 1955 Lao People's Party, whose central committee he was from 1957. He was considered a close confidant of the first Secretary-General Kaysone Phomvihane. In 1962 he became his successor as chief of staff of the armed units of the Pathet Lao. In 1966 he became commander-in-chief of the resulting "Lao People's Liberation Army", which fought with North Vietnamese support in the Laotian civil war against the royal troops. In 1972 he rose to the Politburo of the LPRP.[3]

Political career[edit]

After the Communist takeover in 1975, he became Minister of Defense and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers. He held this office for 16 years. After Kaysone and Nouhak Phoumsavanh he was from the 5th party congress in 1991 number three in the party leadership. On August 15, 1991, he became Kaysone's successor as successor. After the death of longtime party leader Kaysone 1992 Siphandon rose to the top of the state party LPRP.

He was the military commander of the Pathet Lao rebellion. On its takeover of the Laotian government in 1975 he became minister of defence, commander of the army, and a deputy prime minister. On the creation of a presidential republic in 1991, he became prime minister, succeeding party leader Kaysone Phomvihane, who became president. Siphandon became party leader on Kaysone's death, and later succeeded Nouhak Phoumsavanh as president. At the 8th Party Congress in 2006, he became an Advisor to the LPRP Central Committee.

Siphandon also served as chairman, or leader, of the communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party, the only legal party in the country, from 24 November 1992, until 21 March 2006, when he was replaced by Choummaly. As expected, he stepped down as President soon after the April 30, 2006, National Assembly elections.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joseph Chinyong Liow, Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Southeast Asia (fourth edition, 2015), Routledge, page 212.
  2. ^ Doeden, Matt (2007) Laos in Pictures, Lerner Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8225-6590-1, p. 71
  3. ^ a b Stuart-Fox: Historical Dictionary of Laos. 2008, S. 160.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Phoumi Vongvichit
President of the Lao Front for National Construction
1991 – 2001
Succeeded by
Sisavath Keobounphanh
Preceded by
Kaysone Phomvihane
Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
1992 – 2006
Succeeded by
Choummaly Sayasone
(General Secretary)
Political offices
Preceded by
None
Minister for Defence of Laos
1975 – 1991
Succeeded by
Choummaly Sayasone
Preceded by
Kaysone Phomvihane
Prime Minister of Laos
1991 – 1998
Succeeded by
Sisavath Keobounphanh
Preceded by
Nouhak Phoumsavanh
President of Laos
1998 – 2006
Succeeded by
Choummaly Sayasone
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Megawati Sukarnoputri
Chairperson of ASEAN
2004
Succeeded by
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi