The Laos parliament on Monday elected a new president for the country, according to local media.

The voting was held after the opening of the Southeast Asian nation’s ninth legislature of the Lao National Assembly in the capital Vientiane this morning.

Thongloun Sisoulith, 75, having served as the prime minister of the country since April 2016, was elected as the new head of the state during the parliamentary session, Vientiane Times reported. He replaced Bounnhang Vorachith.

He has also been serving as the secretary general of the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party since last January.

Laos, a nation of 7.2 million people, is a landlocked Buddhist majority country bordering China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. It is a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Thongloun said he will actively work to create favorable conditions for stability, national economic growth and poverty reduction in the country.

One of the least coronavirus-affected countries, Laos has reported only 49 cases of the deadly infection with no deaths.

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