ELECTIONS HELD IN 2002
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|Sapha Heng Xat|
|24 February 2002|
|Elections were held for all seats in Parliament one year before the normal expiry of the member's term of office.|
|On 25 December 2001, it was announced that the next National Assembly election would be held on 24 February 2002, one year earlier than expected.
In all, 166 candidates (including 34 women) vied for the enlarged National Assembly's 109 seats (raised from 99). All but one were members of the ruling communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), in power since it overthrew the monarchy 26 years before. Thus, there were even fewer opposition candidates than in 1997, when four such candidates vied for seats. More women were included on the ballot as well as more candidates with post-graduate degrees. The average age was 51, some 10 years younger than in the previous election.
No foreign election observers were invited or allowed, as the National Election Committee spokesman declared that there was no need for observers because "elections in Laos are free and fair".
Over 99 per cent of the 2.54 million eligible voters were reported to have taken part in the elections.
The election brought 62 new faces into the new Assembly, including 25 women. Most of the lawmakers were already district chiefs or deputy provincial governors.
The new National Assembly convened on 9 April 2002 and re-elected Mr Samane Vinyaketh as its Chairman (Speaker). In the inaugural sitting, the newly elected deputies voted to keep President Khamtay Siphandone and the Prime Minister in place and also approved the President's proposed list of Cabinet members for a tenure lasting until 2006.
|Round no 1 (24 February 2002): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||2 545 838|
|Voters||2 543 403 (99.90 %)|
|Blank or invalid ballot papers||239|
|Valid votes||2 543 164|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP)||109|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Percent of women:||22.94 %|
|Distribution of seats according to age:|
|31 to 40 years||8|
|41 to 50 years||39|
|51 to 60 years||41|
|Over 61 years||21|
Copyright © 2002 Inter-Parliamentary Union