Social Republican Party
The Social Republican Party or Socio-Republican Party was a political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, founded by the then Head of State Lon Nol
Lon Nol
Lon Nol was a Cambodian politician and general who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia twice, as well as serving repeatedly as Defense Minister...

 in June 1972 to contest the National Assembly Elections of the Khmer Republic
Khmer Republic
The Khmer Republic or République Khmère, was the republican government of Cambodia that was formally declared on October 9, 1970. The Khmer Republic was disestablished in 1975 and was followed by the totalitarian communist state known as Democratic Kampuchea.-Background:Formally declared on October...

 held on September 3, 1972.


The Party was formed around Lon Nol's existing Socio-Republican Association, and was heavily influenced by his brother Lon Non
Lon Non
Lon Non was a Cambodian politician and soldier who rose to his greatest prominence during the Khmer Republic .Non was the younger brother of Prime Minister Lon Nol...

 and by the officers of the Khmer Republic's armed forces. It adopted the symbol of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu,...

, previously used by Prince Norodom Norindeth
Norodom Norindeth
Prince Norodom Norindeth was a member of the royal family of Cambodia. Active as a politician and diplomat during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, he is notable mainly for founding the Cambodian Liberal Party , the first Cambodian political party.-Biography:Norindeth was a grandson of Norodom of Cambodia...

's Liberal Party from 1946-56. Its platform was populist, nationalist and anticommunist, Lon Nol being determined to oppose North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

ese and Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 influence in the region in the context of the Second Indochina War: its three principal values were declared to be "republicanism, social responsibility and nationalism". The party's main function, however, was to support and legitimise Lon Nol's leadership of the country; he was later to develop a rather ramshackle chauvinist and semi-mystical ideology called "Neo-Khmerism" to back his political agenda.

The party had, early on, developed two distinct factions. One, known as Dangrek, was led by veteran rightist radical, and (since 18 March) Prime Minister, Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh
Son Ngoc Thanh was a Cambodian nationalist and republican policitian, with a long history as a rebel and a government minister.-Early life:...

 and the left-wing academic Hang Thun Hak
Hang Thun Hak
Hang Thun Hak was a Cambodian radical politician, academic and playwright.Hak studied theatre in Paris, where he became associated with the group of radical students centred on Keng Vannsak, which included several future leaders of the Cambodian Communists...

. The Dangrek faction, named after the mountain range
Dângrêk Mountains
The Dângrêk Mountains , meaning "Carrying-Pole Mountains" in Khmer, is a mountain range forming a natural border between Cambodia and Thailand....

 in which Thanh's Khmer Serei
Khmer Serei
The Khmer Serei, or "Free Khmer", were an anti-communist and anti-monarchist guerrilla force founded by Cambodian nationalist Son Ngoc Thanh.-Origin:...

 guerrillas had been based, attracted those figures who had long been part of the republican and radical opposition to Prince Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

 in the period before the Republic's establishment
Cambodian coup of 1970
The Cambodian coup of 1970 refers to the removal of the Cambodian Head of State, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, after a vote in the National Assembly on 18 March 1970. Emergency powers were subsequently invoked by the Prime Minister Lon Nol, who became effective head of state...

. The other faction, known as Dangkor, centred on Lon Non and the army. Tension between these two factions would later prove a serious obstacle to stable government.

1972 elections

The two main opposition parties, the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Cambodia)
The Cambodian Democratic Party was a left-leaning, pro-independence political party formed in 1946 by Prince Sisowath Yuthevong, who had previously been a member of the French Section of the Workers' International....

 led by In Tam
In Tam
In Tam was a former Prime Minister of Cambodia. He served in that position from May 6, 1973 to December 9 1973, and had a long career in Cambodian politics.-Political career:...

 and the Republican Party
Republican Party (Cambodia)
The Cambodian Republican Party was a short-lived political movement established during the Khmer Republic period .-History:The Republican Party was one of the new parties established in the aftermath of the Cambodian coup of 1970, which had overthrown the Sangkum regime of Prince Norodom...

 of Sirik Matak, did not take part in the National Assembly Elections, saying that there were some dubious points in the election law. The Social Republican Party fielded 126 candidates and won all of the seats. The only opposition were 10 candidates fielded by the Pracheachon
The Krom Pracheachon , often referred to simply as Pracheachon, was a Cambodian political party that contested in parliamentary elections in 1955, 1958 and 1972....

group, a resurrected socialist party widely believed to have been organised by Lon Non as a token opposition.

In the elections to the Senate, the upper house of legislature, the 'token' opposition to the PSR was provided by a few candidates of the Sangkum
The Sangkum Reastr Niyum , commonly known simply as the Sangkum, was a political organisation set up in 1955 by Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia...

, the former party of Sihanouk, who had been deposed as Head of State by Lon Nol in 1970. The Sangkum had been formally dissolved in 1971, but as with the Pracheachon was resurrected by Lon Non to provide the appearance of a multiparty election.

Political infighting

Thanh's brief period as Prime Minister ended on 15 October 1972, shortly after an assassination attempt widely believed to have been organised by Lon Non. The PSR's Secretary-General, Hang Thun Hak, was made Prime Minister in his place, but was to be forced out in early 1973 after a period of increasingly poor outcomes for the Republic in the Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces of Cambodia , which were supported by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam The Cambodian...

. After a period in which In Tam served in the post, PSR member Long Boret
Long Boret
Long Boret or Long Boreth was a Cambodian politician who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia from December 26, 1973 to April 17, 1975. Highly regarded for his honesty, he tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a peace settlement with the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Civil War...

 was made Prime Minister in late 1973.

Lon Non attempted to strengthen his influence on the PSR, but was forced into exile in September 1973. He returned in 1974 and as late as March 1975 was still attempting to obtain the party's Secretary-Generalship, despite the Republic by this time holding little more than the city of Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...


In April 1975, the Socio-Republican Party, along with the rest of the Khmer Republic regime, fell to the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

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