After two years of halting preparation, Cambodia was all set to promulgate a new constitution this week, adopting a presidential form of government. The hopes of the country's legislators, however, were summarily dashed last week by Premier Lon Nol, who overthrew Prince Norodom Sihanouk two years ago. Pronouncing the draft of the constitution unacceptable, he dissolved the Constituent Assembly, posted guards around the Assembly building in Phnom Penh and proclaimed himself chief of state and sole authority.

Lon Nol's seizure of power looked like an act of dictatorial strength, but in fact it may have been a sign of weakness....

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