About 2,000 members of the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland gathered in Phnom Penh for their annual conference on Sunday, urging those in attendance to remember the Front’s role in freeing the country from the Khmer Rouge when they go to the ballot box in July’s election.
The Front—then called the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea—was established on December 2, 1978. Just over a month later, on January 7, 1979, Vietnamese forces installed Front members elected at the 1978 Front conference as the post-Khmer Rouge leaders of Cambodia.
Front members including National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Prime Minister Hun Sen formed the Kampuchean Revolutionary Party that toppled the Khmer Rouge and later became the CPP.
Speaking at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, Mr. Samrin, the Front’s current president, told an audience of hundreds of monks, students and mostly elder Front members that if it were not for the Front, Cambodia would not have been freed from the Khmer Rouge, and that supporting the CPP was now essential to preserving its legacy.
“Everyone knows that the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland is an ancestor and that we cannot forget it because it is the reason that our country and people are alive,” Mr. Samrin said.
“On all levels, our main policy is to make the public strongly believe in, and still vote for, the CPP, who will serve the people forever in line with our modern democratic society,” he said.
Speaking at Sunday’s conference, Min Khin, the government’s Minister of Cults and Religion and secretary-general of the Front, said that the organization currently boasts 746,146 members nationwide.
“It was December 2 that brought about January 7, which saved our lives and made everything as it is today” Mr. Khin said.