Democratic Kampuchea

former totalitarian regime

Democratic Kampuchea was the official name of Cambodia/Kampuchea from 1976 to January 1979, during the Khmer Rouge Years, though the international community recognized it for ten more years. Its leader was Pol Pot, and its national anthem (song) was Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey. It was succeeded by the People's Republic of Kampuchea upon the Vietnamese invasion in 1979. While Democratic Kampuchea existed, about 20% of its population died either because of starvation, brutality, or execution. The four-year period saw the deaths of approximately two million Cambodians through the combined result of political executions, starvation, and forced labour.[4][5] Due to the large numbers, the deaths during the rule of the Khmer Rouge are often considered a genocide, and commonly known as the Cambodian Holocaust or Cambodian Genocide. The Khmer Rouge period ended with the invasion of Cambodia by neighbour and former ally Vietnam in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, which left Cambodia under Vietnamese occupation for a decade.

កម្ពុជា  (Khmer)
Kâmpŭchéa  (Khmer)

Democratic Kampuchea
កម្ពុជាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ  (Khmer)
Kâmpŭchéa Prâcheathippadey  (Khmer)
Flag of Kampuchea
Flag (1976–79)
National Emblem (1975–79) of Kampuchea
National Emblem (1975–79)
Anthem: Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey
"Great Victorious Seventeenth of April"
Location of Democratic Kampuchea
Location of Democratic Kampuchea
CapitalPhnom Penh
Common languagesKhmer
GovernmentUnitary Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic under a totalitarian dictatorship[1][2][3]
Party General Secretary 
• 1976–1979
Pol Pot
President of the State Presidium 
• 1975–1976
Norodom Sihanouk
• 1976–1979
Khieu Samphan
Prime Minister 
• 1976–1979
Pol Pot
• 1976
Nuon Chea (interim)
LegislaturePeople's Representative Assembly
Historical eraCold War
17 April 1975
• Proclamation
15 January 1976
7 January 1979
22 June 1982
181,035 km2 (69,898 sq mi)
CurrencyNone as money was abolished
Driving sideright
Calling code855
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Khmer Republic
People's Republic of Kampuchea
Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
Today part ofCambodia


  1. Jackson, Karl D. (1989). Cambodia, 1975–1978: Rendezvous with Death. Princeton University Press. p. 219. ISBN 0-691-02541-X.
  2. "Khmer Rouge's Slaughter in Cambodia Is Ruled a Genocide". The New York Times. 15 November 2018. Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  3. Kiernan, B. (2004) How Pol Pot came to Power. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. xix
  4. Khmer Rouge leader admits crimes
  5. Noam Chomsky on Cambodia under Pol Pot