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Laos Leader Admits Party's Failings

March 13, 2001|Associated Press

VIENTIANE, Laos — The president of Laos on Monday acknowledged his secretive Communist government's failings in managing a fragile market economy, but he defended its monopoly on politics in the impoverished nation.

Khamtai Siphandon made the comments as he opened a congress of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, which has ruled for 25 years.

The three-day congress, held every five years, comes amid signs of cracks in the credibility of the aging leadership, although its dominance is unchallenged.

The president stressed the importance of economic development and strengthening the party, which has more than 100,000 members.

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