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THE CONSTITUTION & ITS THREATS
Presently, the Assembly has 99 members. Article 61 provides that a quorum consists of a bare majority of 51% or 50 members to pass a resolution. Such a resolution may entail anything from promoting or demoting ministers to removal of the President. Out of the 50 members quorum, Article 61 requires only 1/4 of those present or 12 members to forge a vote of no confidence to reconstitute a new government or certain segment of the government. In the worst case scenario, the communist leadership can be overthrown by mere vote of 33 people: 50 to call a quorum, 12 to incite a no confidence vote and 33 of the 50 to carry out the sacking. For those in power who see this potentially explosive situation, the prospect of allowing nonparty members to stand for election to the National Assembly would mean a political suicide. This fear is further heighten when Article 61 is read with provisions of Article 47 which provides that the question concerning the destiny of the country may be submitted for debate during the 2 sessions of the Assembly. The Constitution, as it now stands, permits as little as 50 people and 33 votes of those 50 to determine the life and death of communism in Lao.