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KINGDOM
King Sisavang Vong
(1904-1959)

The Kingdom of Laos was a sovereig state from 1953 until
December 1975, when communists overthrew the government and
created the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Given self-rule in
1949 as part of a federation with the rest of French Indochina,
the 1953 Franco-Lao Treaty finally established a sovereign, independent Laos, but did not stipulate who would rule the country.
In the years that followed, three groups contended for power: the
neutralists under Prince Souvanna Phouma, the right-wing party
under Prince Boun Oum of Champassak, and the left-wing, Vietnamese-backed Lao Patriotic Front (now called the Pathet Lao)
under Prince Souphanouvong and future Prime Minister Kaysone
Phomvihane.