Khamtai Siphandone

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Khamtai Siphandone
ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ
Siphandone in 2004
Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
In office
24 November 1992 – 21 March 2006
Preceded byKaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone (as General Secretary)
4th President of Laos
In office
24 February 1998 – 8 June 2006
Prime MinisterSisavath Keobounphanh
Bounnhang Vorachith
Vice PresidentOudom Khattigna
Choummaly Sayasone
Preceded byNouhak Phoumsavanh
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone
12th Prime Minister of Laos
In office
15 August 1991 – 24 February 1998
PresidentKaysone Phomvihane
Nouhak Phoumsavanh
Preceded byKaysone Phomvihane
Succeeded bySisavath Keobounphanh
Deputy Prime Minister of Laos
In office
2 December 1975 – 15 August 1991
Minister of Defense
In office
2 December 1975 – 15 August 1991
Prime MinisterKaysone Phomvihane
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byChoummaly Sayasone
Personal details
Born (1924-02-08) 8 February 1924 (age 100)
Champasak, French Protectorate of Laos, French Indochina (now Laos)
Political partyLao People's Revolutionary Party (1955–2006)
SpouseThongvanh Siphandone
RelativesKhampheng Saysompheng (son-in-law)

General Khamtai Siphandone (Lao: ຄຳໄຕ ສີພັນດອນ; born 8 February 1924) is a Laotian politician who was Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party from 24 November 1992 to 21 March 2006 and President of Laos[1] from 24 February 1998 to 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]

Siphandone was born on 8 February 1924.[2] He 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, Siphandone 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 Viet Minh-backed Pathet Lao.[3]

In 1954 he became a member of the Communist Party of Indochina, and in 1955 the 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]

Siphandone was the military commander of the Pathet Lao rebellion.[4] After the successful Communist takeover in 1975, he became the Minister of Defense and a Deputy Prime Minister of Laos.[4] During the 5th Party Congress in 1991, Siphandone was the third highest-ranking member of the party leadership, after Kaysone Phomvihane and Nouhak Phoumsavanh.[5] On 15 August 1991, he succeeded Kaysone as Prime Minister of Laos, who had left office to become President. After the death of longtime party leader Kaysone in 1992, Siphandone became Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.[4]

Siphandone succeeded Nouhak Phoumsavanh as president in 1998.[6] At the 8th Party Congress in 2006, he became an advisor to the LPRP Central Committee.

Siphandone remained as party leader until 21 March 2006, when he was replaced by Choummaly.[7] He stepped down as president in June,[8] following the 2006 Laotian parliamentary election.

Family and personal life[edit]

Siphandone is married to Thongvanh Siphandone.[9] His son Sonexay joined the LPRP Politburo in 2016[10] and became Prime Minister of Laos in 2022.[11] His daughter Viengthong currently serves as President of the State Audit Organization.[12]

On 8 February 2024, he turned 100, and was sent congratulatory messages by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President of Vietnam Võ Văn Thưởng. The Vietnamese ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung presented a birthday gift to Siphandone to his son Sonexay.[13][14]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Doeden, Matt (2007) Laos in Pictures, Lerner Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8225-6590-1, p. 71
  2. ^ Joseph Chinyong Liow, Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Southeast Asia (fourth edition, 2015), Routledge, page 212.
  3. ^ a b Stuart-Fox: Historical Dictionary of Laos. 2008, S. 160.
  4. ^ a b c "Laos President Steps Down at End of Party Congress". Voice of America. 21 March 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  5. ^ "Laos in 1991: Year of the Constitution". JSTOR. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  6. ^ "Nouhak Phoumsavanh, Former President of Laos, Dies at 98". The New York Times. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  7. ^ "Asia: Laos: Transfer Of Power". The New York Times. Agence France-Presse. 22 March 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  8. ^ "Laos profile - leaders". BBC News. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister of Laos Khamtai Siphandone and wife Madam Thongvanh being greeted by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Mrs Goh". Archive Online. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  10. ^ "Sonexay Siphandone elected as new Lao Prime Minister". The Star. 30 December 2023. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  11. ^ "Sonexay Siphandone Elected New Prime Minister of Laos". The Laotian Times. 30 December 2022. Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  12. ^ "Over 3.13 Trillion Kip Recovered Following Audit". Retrieved 2024-02-18.
  13. ^ "Party, State leaders congratulate former Lao leader on 100th birthday". 2024-02-08. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  14. ^ "越南党和国家领导人祝贺坎泰·西潘敦同志诞辰100周年". Vietnam+. 2024-02-07. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  15. ^ Lelita Brunei - 1 December 2004
  16. ^ «Красная Звезда» [Red Star newspaper], March 1984

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by President of the Lao Front for National Construction
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Succeeded by
Choummaly Sayasone
(General Secretary)
Political offices
Preceded by
Minister of Defense
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Laos
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Laos
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chairperson of ASEAN
Succeeded by