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Coalition & Dissolution in Laos History

The participants at the Geneva Conference had finally reached a settlement by 1957. LPF and the Royal Lao Government (RLG) agreed to a coalition government (under the RLG?s Prince Souvanna Phouma)) known as the Government of National Union.Two LPF ministers and their deputies were admitted at the national level.

The participants at the Geneva Conference had finally reached a settlement by 1957. LPF and the Royal Lao Government (RLG) agreed to a coalition government (under the RLG?s Prince Souvanna Phouma)) known as the Government of National Union.Two LPF ministers and their deputies were admitted at the national level.

The 1500 PL troops in the northeast were to be absorbed into the Royal Lao Army, According to the Geneva agreement, but disagreements over rank made a successful merge impossible. In 1958, the National Assembly election in two northeastern provinces clearly showed large LPF support among the general populace (13 out of 21 seats). A right-wing reaction led to the arrest of LPF ministers and deputies, and the PL troops re-entrenched themselves in the countryside. Undoubtedly this government action following the electoral results was heavily influenced by the United States withdrawal of all aid to Laos, which by that point formed the bulk of the Lao national budget.

The fall of the Government of National Union was followed by the dominance of the Committee for the Defence of National Interests (CDNI), made up of extreme right-wing military officers and French-educated elites, in the Vientiane government. With powerful US backing The CDNI had Phoui Sananikone installed as prime minister. Souvanna Phouma was made the Lao ambassador to France. Within a year of their arrest, Prince Souphanouvong and his LPF colleagues escaped and were again leading the resistance in the countryside.

The Vientiane government was strongly advised to adopt a more neutral policy towards the LPF when in 1959 a UN investigation declared that the PL was not using regular North Vietnamese troops. (Since then, it has come out that the PL was receiving North Vietnamese support in the form of political and military advisers during this period. the North Vietnamese assisted the PL In the mountains of the north and northeast, in gaining control over the tribal groups.)

The USA renewed aid to Laos to counter the North Vietnamese presence ? this time mostly for direct military use. Fighting broke out between the PL (and its North Vietnamese military advisers) and the RLG on the Plain Of Jars during the summer of 1959. US Special Forces teams were sent to Laos to train government troops, and in March 1960 the CIA's Air America took delivery of the first four helicopters to Laos.

 
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