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Sihanouk - Sihanouk Norodom Sihanouk 1922 king of...

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Sihanouk, Norodom Sihanouk, 1922–, king of Cambodia (1941–55, 1993–2004). Sihanouk was educated in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and Paris and was elected king by a royal council in 1941. During World War II he was held a virtual prisoner by Japanese occupation forces. After the war he adopted (1947) a constitution that made Cambodia a limited monarchy and achieved (1949) some autonomy for his country within the French Union . Following the first elections (1950), however, Sihanouk dissolved the assembly and ruled by decree. He became prime minister as well as king in 1951 and appointed a cabinet made up largely of members of the royal family. He campaigned for complete independence, which was finally granted in 1953. In 1955 he abdicated in favor of his father, Norodom Suramarit, but retained the premiership and control of the Popular Socialist Community party, which he had founded. As premier he took Cambodia out of the French Union. After his father's death (1960) he again became head of state, although not king. Initially neutral in foreign affairs, he broke (1965) diplomatic relations with
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