War and violence have marred most of the last 30 years of Cambodia's history. Most of the country's infrastructure and technical capacity were systematically destroyed or stolen during this time. The Khmer Rouge period from 1975 to 1979 was one of the worst periods of human destruction ever witnessed and in many respects the country is still recovering from this damage to society and economy (Kiernan, 1998). In some ways, the economy is less developed today than in the 1960s before the conflicts started (Hundley, 2003).
Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy with King Norodom Sihamoni as the Head of State since October 2004 when his father, retired King Norodom Sihanouk, abdicated the throne. The first post-war democratic elections were held in 1993 and resulted in a period of relative peace and stability. Cambodia's most recent democratic election was held in July 2003 and won by the ruling Cambodian People's Party. However, it took more than 12 months for this party to form a new government by reaching an agreement with the country's other major party.
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