- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Present day Cambodia has been shaped by the adverse events of modern Cambodian history. In recent years, reconstruction efforst have progressed and Cambodia is today a multiparty liberal democracy in the framework of a constitutional monarchy, accordign to the nation's constitution. Prince Norodom Sihamoni is the King and the current Prime Minister is Cambodian's People Party member Hun Sen, who has held this position since 1998. Modern day Cambodia has remained relatively stable under the government of the CPP and the country is making efforts to modernize its economy, which is still heavily reliant on agriculture, with the assistance of the international community's financial aid, foreign investment and a rise in tourism. The process is slow, and Cambodia remains far behind its neighbouring countries in healthcare, economic infraestructure and education. However, the future is looking brighter with the advance of political stability and the end of the fighting amongst different factions.
In 1993, the first democratic elections since the Khmer Rogue regime and the Vietnam occupation took place in Cambodia under the supervision of the UN. Over 4 million Cambodians voted and Funcinpec party (headed by prince Ranariddh) won the elections with 58 seats, closely followed by Hun Sen's Cambodian's People Party (CPP). Funcinpec entered into a coalition with the other participating parties creating a 120 member assembly that drafted and approved the constitution. Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen became First and Second Prime Ministers. The government slowly started the process of rebuilding the country.
In 1997 factional fighting between Funcinpec supporters of Prince Norodon Ranariddh and CPP's supporters of Hun Sen broke out, leaving a bloody confrontation in Phnom Penh. Prince Ranariddh's party was accused of plotting with Khmer Rouge leaders to overthrow the CPP from power, and Hun Sen emerged as the strong man (as he was declared by the local media) that would bring stability to Cambodia.
In the 1998 National Assembly elections the CPP received 41% of the votes , Funcinpec %32 and Sam Rainsy Party 13%. The CPP and Funcinpec parties formed a coalition governmet with Hun Sen as Prime Minister. In 2004, due to health problems, King Sihanouk abdicated the throne after a long active life in Cambodian politics. The Royal Council of the Throne, body responsible for electing the succesor to the throne, selected Prince Norodom Sihamoni as the new King and he is the monarch in the present day.
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