Lao Leaders Luxury Cars on Display, Awaiting Auction Next Week
Many Lao leaders have now forgone their expensive cars and luxury vehicles as part of a push for promotion of frugality.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has quickly gained regional notoriety for his unprecedented move to reclaim luxury vehicles from Party and government leaders. Although the modest PM even states in an interview that the work has been part of a group effort, PM Thongloun has become the frontman of the cause.
A new Prime Ministerial Decree was issued last month ordering a dramatic cut on spending. Under the new decree, luxury cars are to be returned, and spending on ceremonies and other events is to be cut back.
An auction of the vehicles already returned by Lao leaders is to be held next week in Vientiane Capital.
The cars, which are now on display at the National Convention Center, include seven BMW Series 7/730li and eight Mercedes-Benz S350 models. Any members of the public interested in bidding on one of the vehicles may visit the National Convention Center on official working days to view the cars.
Bidding documents will go on sale next week, although the dates and times of auctions have not yet been announced.
According to a press release, the bidding will be undertaken openly and transparently in a manner that is fair and in accordance with the law.
First to go on sale are vehicles of top-level leaders, including the President, the Prime Minister, and the President of the National Assembly. The next cars to be sold will be those formerly belonging to the Secretary of the Party Central Committee, the Vice President, the Vice President of the National Assembly, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister.
The luxury vehicles that have been returned are to be replaced with cheaper brands and models, such as the Toyota Camry.