The multi-ethnic Lao people have existed and developed on this beloved land for thousands of years. More than six centuries ago, during the time of Chao Fa Ngum, our ancestors, founded the unified Lane Xang country and built it into a prosperous land. Since the 18th century, the Lao land had been repeatedly threatened and invaded by outside powers. Our people had enhanced the heroic and unyielding traditions of their ancestors and continually and persistently fought to gain independence and freedom.
Over the past 60 years, under the correct leadership of the former Indochinese Communist Party and the present Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the multi-ethnic Lao people have carried out difficult and arduous struggles full of great sacrifices until they managed to crush the yokes of domination and oppression of the colonialists and feudalist regime, completely liberated the country and established the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on 2 December 1975; thus opening a new era – an era of genuine independence for the country and freedom for the people.
During the past years, our people have been together implementing the two strategic tasks of defending and building the country, thereby achieving satisfactory results in the initial stage.
Now, at this new period, the social life requires that the state must have a Constitution. This Constitution is the Constitution of the People’s Democratic Regime in our country. It recognises the great achievements gained by our people in the cause of struggles for national liberation and construction and defines the political regime, the socio-economic system, the rights and obligations of citizens and the system of organisation of state apparatuses in the new period. This is the first time in the history of our nation the rights to mastery of the people have been defined in the fundamental law of the country.
This Constitution is the fruit of the process of the people’s discussions throughout the country. It reflects the longstanding aspirations and strong determination of the national community to strive together to fulfill the objective of building Laos a country of peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity.
THE POLITICAL REGIME
Article 1. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is an independent country with sovereignty and territorial integrity covering both territorial waters and airspace. It is a unified country belonging to all multi-ethnic people and is indivisible.
Article 2. The state of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a People’s Democratic State. All powers are of the people, by the people and for the interests of the multi-ethnic people of all strata in society with the workers, farmers and intellectuals as key components.
Article 3. The rights of the multi-ethnic people to be the masters of the country are exercised and ensured through the functioning of the political system with the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party as its leading nucleus.
Laos-Constitution-1991-eng (full text in English, PDF)