Rising Laos political star dies

Rising Laos political star dies

PHNOM PENH - Maj-Gen Sanyahak Phomvihane, a fast-rising star in the ruling communist party in Laos, has died aged 45, state media reported Friday.

He died on Wednesday "after receiving intensive medical treatment from both local and foreign doctors", the state-run Vientiane Times reported.

The government mouthpiece gave no further details on the cause of the premature death of Sanyahak, the son of Laos' first president, Kaysone Phomvihane, who died in 1992.

"He was like his father, transparent and not corrupt," said one Lao businessman, who asked to remain anonymous. "He could have gone far."

Sanyahak was deputy defence minister and a member of the central committee of the communist party at the time of his death.

He rose quickly within the army, being promoted to major general in 2009, when he was only 41.

Sanyahak joined the communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party, the country's only political party, in 1988 and was elected to the central committee in 2006.    An official funeral will be held in Vientiane from July 18 to 21.

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