Cambodian National Unity Party

Cambodian National Unity Party

The Cambodian National Unity Party was the last iteration the Communist Party of Kampuchea AKA the Khmer Rouge, as well as being the last Khmer Rouge “party” to hold any power.

The evolution of the party follows on from the 1951 formation of the Khmer Peoples Revolutionary Party before out forks in 1960.

Evolution of the Party

The KPRK was founded in 1951 before changing into the Workers Party of Kampuchea in 1960. Following overtures from China was would become the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who would rule Democratic Kampuchea.

Following their overthrow they would become the Party of Democratic Kampuchea in 1985-92 and were led by Khieu Samphan.

The party would then rename to the Cambodian National Unity Party again led by Samphan to take part in the 1993 elections before moving back into rebellion.

Cambodian National Unity Party in power

The Khmer Rouge would retreat into their strongholds and become the rebel government of the “Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia” which led the breakaway country.

Cracks though would start to show from 1996 when Ieng Sary defected from the party. He was followed by Khiu Samphan who formed the Khmer National Solidarity Party.

When this happened Son Sen briefly became leader, before his death and replacement by Ta Mok the last leader of the Khmer Rouge.

Cambodian National Unity Party

It would remain the party of power in rebel areas until the disbandment of the zone in 1998 when the last holdouts gave up fighting, although the party officially had devolved one year sooner in 1997.

Ta Mok would remain the one of the only surviving leaders not to form his own party and the Cambodian National Unity Party can be seen as the last vestige of the Khmer Rouge. So fat and unlike in other former socialist states no party has ever tried to claim the mantle of either the Khmer Rouge, or any of their parties.