The Laos PDR adopted its first Constitution in 1991, and amended it in 2003 in order to meet the needs of the socio-economic development, as well as regional and international cooperation and integration. The Constitution clearly established such a political system that the Laos PDR is a people's democratic state; all powers belong to the people, and are exercised by the people and for the interests of the Laos multi-ethnic people. The rights of the Laos multi-ethnic people as masters of the country are exercised and guaranteed through the functioning of the political system which the Laos multi-ethnic people have chosen on the basis of the right to self-determination through the election of a body that represents their powers and interests called the National Assembly.
The administrative system of the Laos PDR consists of the organs of state powers, namely the National Assembly, the Government, the People's Courts and the People's Prosecutor Offices. In addition to the organs of state powers, the Laos Front for National Construction, mass organisations such as the Laos Federation of Trade Unions, the Lao People's Revolutionary Youth Union, the Laos Women's Union, the Federation of Military Veterans, and other social and professional organisations operate in the country with a view to uniting and mobilising the Laos multi-ethnic people of all social strata in carrying out the tasks of protection and development of the country, to protecting the rights and legitimate interests of the respective organisations' members.
The National Assembly is a state organ representing the rights and interests of the Laos multi-ethnic people. The National Assembly is the supreme organ of state powers and also the legislative branch with the powers to make decisions on fundamental issues of the country, to oversight the activities of the executive organs, the people's courts and the offices of the people's prosecutors. The election of the National Assembly members is carries out on the basis of the principles of universality, equality, direct suffrage and secret ballot.
The Head of State is the President who is elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds of the votes of all members of the National Assembly attending the session. The term of his office is the same as the term of the National Assembly's office (Five years).
The Government is the executive branch of state powers. The Government administers in a unified manner the implementation of the State's duties in all fields such as political, economic, cultural, social, national defence and security, and foreign affairs. The local administration is comprised of 16 provinces and the Capital of Vientiane.
The Head of Government is the Prime Minister who is appointed by the President after the approval of the National Assembly. He leads and manages the work of the government, ministries, ministry-equivalent organisations and other organisations related to the government as well as the work of provinces and capital.
The Government of the Laos PDR consists of 18 Ministries and 3 ministry-equivalent organisations as follows:
- Government's Office
- Ministry of National Defence
- Ministry of Public Security
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Justice
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- Government Inspection Authority
- Ministry of Education and Sports
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism
- Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare
- Ministry of Planning and Investment
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
- Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
- Ministry of Energy and Mines
- Ministry of Industry and Commerce
- Ministry of Public Works and Transport
- Ministry of Science and Technology
- Ministry of Post, Telecoms and Communication
- The Bank of the Laos PDR
The people's courts constitute the judicial branch of the state, consisting of the People's Supreme Court, regional courts, provincial courts, district courts, and the military courts. The People's Supreme Court is the highest judicial organ of the State. The people's courts make decisions in a collective manner. In their adjudication, judges must be independent and strictly comply with the laws. Final court judgments are to be respected by all organisations of the Party, the State, the Laos Front for National Construction, all mass and social organisations, enterprises, and all citizens. Individuals and organisations concerned must strictly implement them.
The Office of the People's Prosecutor has the duty to monitor the implementation of the laws. The Office of the People's Prosecutor consists of the Offices of the Supreme People's Prosecutor, regional, provincial, district prosecutors and military prosecutors. It has the rights and duties to monitor and to supervise the correct and uniform implementation of laws and Government, the Laos Front for National Construction, mass organisations, social organisations, local administrations, enterprises, civil servants and citizens; and to exercise the right of public prosecution.