Voters check the information of candidates during the nationwide elections for the ninth National Assembly (NA) of Laos in Vientiane, Laos, Feb. 21, 2021. Some 4.28 million Lao people are eligible to vote to elect 164 NA members out of 224 candidates, and also to elect Provincial People's Councils, the provincial parliaments. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)
VIENTIANE, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The nationwide elections for the ninth National Assembly (NA) of Laos were held on Sunday.
Some 4.28 million Lao people are eligible to vote to elect 164 NA members out of 224 candidates, and also to elect Provincial People's Councils, the provincial parliaments.
From 7:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. local time, Lao people across the country cast votes to elect their representatives to sit in the NA and provincial parliaments.
President Bounnhang Vorachith, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, NA President Pany Yathotou and the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and state leaders joined citizens in voting for members of the national parliament's (MPs) ninth legislature and provincial People's Council second legislature.
The National Election Committee and local election committees of Laos have been campaigning to encourage all eligible citizens to vote in the elections, which takes place every five years.
Village authorities turned on community radios and loudspeakers early in the morning in a final effort to persuade everyone to exercise their right to vote, local online newspaper Vientiane Times reported.
More than 7,200 polling stations were set up across the country. Mobile voting units were provided so that people who could not get to polling stations, including those who were ill, were able to vote. Early voting was arranged where necessary, including for soldiers and police, as they were engaged in security duties on election day. In addition, 40 polling stations were set up in other countries so that Lao citizens and officials overseas could vote.
Some 224 candidates from all 18 constituencies are contesting 164 seats in the National Assembly and 788 candidates are competing for 492 seats on Provincial People's Councils.
National Election Committee Spokesperson Somphou Duangsavanh told Vientiane Times he expected the results of the election would be revealed before the end of this month. Enditem