Introduced by Raoul M. Jennar
the vote on 18 March 1970 dismissing him as Head of State, Prince Norodom Sihanouk sent out an appeal from
Peking for an armed uprising against the regime, which had taken power in Phnom
Penh. The Communist movement which had been fighting the regime since 1968
rallied to the Prince, who created the Front National Uni du Kampuchea (FUNK)
and a related Gouvernement Royal d'Union Nationale du Kampuchea (GRUNK).
North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong brought decisive support to the embryonic
FUNK forces. Little by little, the most radical elements of Cambodian
communism—dubbed Khmer Rouge as early as 1970 by Prince Sihanouk—began to
increase their influence within FUNK, of which they took control from 1973 on.
The Vietnamese forces, which had signed the Paris Agreements at the beginning of
the year, retreated to the frontier zones. While "frontism" remained the
political practice in the combat zones, the first purges and massacres commenced
in the so-called "liberated zones". Sihanouk supporters, moderate communists (or
those suspected of sympathy for Hanoi) and reticent people, were the principal
April 1975 the Khmer Rouge forces entered Phnom Penh and set up the regime named
a command group meeting in the Cambodian capital from 15 to 19 December 1975,
the text of a Constitution was adopted, the principles of which had been decided
at the end of April. It was promulgated on 5 January 1976.
establish this unofficial translation in English, we have relied on the
translation published by David Chandler, "The Constitution of Democratic
Kampuchea: The Semantics of Revolutionary Change", Pacific Affairs, Fall 1976; and Craig
Etcheson, The Rise and Demise of
Democratic Kampuchea, Colorado, Westview, 1984.
basis of the sacred and fundamental desires of the people, workers, peasants,
and other labourers as well as those of the fighters and cadres of the
Kampuchean Revolutionary Army; and
a significant role has been played by the people, especially the workers, poor
peasants, the lower middle peasantry, and other strata of labourers in the
countryside and cities, who account for more than ninety-five percent of the
entire Kampuchean nation, who assumed the heaviest responsibility in waging the
war for the liberation of the nation and the people, made the greatest
sacrifices in terms of life, property, and commitment, served the front line
relentlessly, and unhesitatingly sacrificed their children and husbands by the
thousands for the fight on the battlefield;
great sacrifices have been borne by the three categories of the Kampuchean
Revolutionary Army who fought valiantly, day and night, in the dry and rainy
season, underwent all sorts of hardship and misery, shortages of food, medicine,
clothing, ammunition, and other commodities in the great war for the liberation
of the nation and the people;
the entire Kampuchean people and the entire Kampuchean Revolutionary Army desire
an independent, unified, peaceful, neutral, non-aligned, sovereign Kampuchea
enjoying territorial integrity, a national society informed by genuine
happiness, equality, justice, and democracy without rich or poor and without
exploiters or exploited, a society in which all live harmoniously in great
national solidarity and join forces to do manual labour together and increase
production for the construction and defence of the country;
whereas the resolution of the Special National Congress held on 25, 26 and 27
April 1975 solemnly proclaimed recognition and respect for the above desires of
the entire people and the entire Kampuchean Revolutionary Army;
Constitution of Kampuchea states:
Article 1 The
State of Kampuchea is an independent, unified, peaceful, neutral, non-aligned,
sovereign, and democratic State enjoying territorial integrity.
State of Kampuchea is a State of the people, workers, peasants, and all other
official name of the State of Kampuchea is "Democratic Kampuchea".
Article 2 All
important general means of production are the collective property of the
people's State and the common property of the people's collectives.
Property for everyday use remains in private
Article 3 The
culture of Democratic Kampuchea has a national, popular, forward-looking, and
healthful character such as will serve the tasks of defending and building
Kampuchea into an ever more prosperous country.
new culture is absolutely opposed to the corrupt, reactionary culture of the
various oppressive classes and that of colonialism and imperialism in Kampuchea.
The Principle of
Leadership and Work
Democratic Kampuchea applies the collective principle in leadership and work.
Legislative power is invested in the representative assembly of the people,
workers, peasants, and all other Kampuchean labourers.
Assembly shall be officially known as the "Kampuchean People's Representative
Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly shall be made up of 250 members,
representing the people, the workers, peasants, and all other Kampuchean
labourers and the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army. Of these 250, there shall be:
Representing the peasants 150
Representing the labourers and other working
Representing the revolutionary army 50
Article 6 The
members of the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly are to be elected by
the people through direct and prompt general elections by secret ballot to be
held throughout the country every five years.
Article 7 The
People's Representative Assembly is responsible for legislation and for defining
the various domestic and foreign policies of Democratic Kampuchea.
Article 8 The
administration is a body responsible for executing the laws and political lines
of the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly.
administration is elected by the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly and
must be fully responsible to the Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly for
all its activities inside and outside the country.
Justice is administered by people's courts, representing and defending the
people's justice, defending the democratic rights and liberties of the people,
and condemning any activities directed against the people's State or violating
the laws of the people's State.
judges at all levels will be chosen and appointed by the People's Representative
Actions violating the laws of the people's State are as follows:
Dangerous activities in opposition to the
people's State must be condemned to the highest degree.
cases are subject to constructive re-education in the framework of the State's
or people's organisations.
Democratic Kampuchea has a State Presidium chosen and appointed by the
Kampuchean People's Representative Assembly once every five years.
State Presidium is responsible for representing the State of Democratic
Kampuchea inside and outside the country in keeping with the Constitution of
Democratic Kampuchea and with the laws and political lines of the Kampuchean
People's Representative Assembly.
State Presidium is composed as follows: a president, a first vice-president, and
a second vice-president.
The Rights and Duties
of the Individual
Article 12 Every
citizen of Kampuchea enjoys full rights to a constantly improving material,
spiritual, and cultural life.
citizen of Democratic Kampuchea is guaranteed a living.
workers are the masters of their factories.
peasants are the masters of the rice paddies and fields.
other labourers have the right to work.
is absolutely no unemployment in Democratic Kampuchea.
must be complete equality among all Kampuchean people in an equal, just,
democratic, harmonious, and happy society within the great national solidarity
for defending and building the country together.
women are fully equal in every respect.
Polygamy is prohibited.
the duty of all to defend and build the country together in accordance with
individual ability and potential.
capital city of Democratic Kampuchea is Phnom Penh.
design and significance of the Kampuchean national flag are as follows:
background is red, with a yellow three-towered temple in the middle.
background symbolises the revolutionary movement, the resolute and valiant
struggle of the Kampuchean people for the liberation, defence, and construction
of their country.
yellow temple symbolises the national traditions of the Kampuchean people, who
are defending and building the country to make it ever more prosperous.
Article 17 The national emblem consists of a
network of dikes and canals, which symbolise modern agriculture, and factories,
which symbolise industry. These are framed by an oval garland of rice ears, with
the inscription "Democratic Kampuchea" at the bottom.
national anthem of Democratic Kampuchea is the "Dap Prampi Mesa Chokchey"
["Glorious Seventeenth of April"].
three categories of the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army—regular, regional, and
guerrilla—form an army of the people made up of men and women fighters and
cadres who are the children of the labourers, peasants, and other Kampuchean
working people. They defend the State power of the Kampuchean people and of
independent, unified, peaceful, neutral, non-aligned, sovereign, and democratic
Kampuchea, which enjoys territorial integrity, and at the same time they help to
build a country growing more prosperous every day to improve and develop the
people's standard of living.
citizen of Kampuchea has the right to worship according to any religion and the
right not to worship according to any religion.
Reactionary religions which are detrimental
to Democratic Kampuchea and Kampuchean people are absolutely forbidden.
Democratic Kampuchea fervently and earnestly desires to maintain close and
friendly relations with all countries sharing a common border and with all those
near and distant throughout the world in conformity with the principles of
mutual and absolute respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Democratic Kampuchea adheres to a policy of
independence, peace, neutrality and non-alignment. It will permit absolutely no
foreign country to maintain military bases on its territory and is resolutely
opposed to all forms of outside interference in its internal affairs, and to all
forms of subversion and aggression against Democratic Kampuchea from outside,
whether military, political, cultural, social, diplomatic, or humanitarian.
Democratic Kampuchea refuses all intervention
in the domestic affairs of other countries, and scrupulously respects the
principle that every country is sovereign and entitled to manage and decide its
own affairs without outside interference.
Democratic Kampuchea remains absolutely
within the great family of non-aligned nations.
Democratic Kampuchea strives to promote
solidarity with the peoples of the Third World in Asia, Africa, and Latin
America, and with peace- and justice-loving people the world over, and to
contribute most actively to mutual aid and support in the struggle against
imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, and in favour of independence, peace,
friendship, democracy, justice, and progress in the world.