Party of Democratic Kampuchea
was a political party
, formed as a continuation of the Communist Party of Kampuchea
in December 1981
. The dissolution of CPK and formation of PDK was, according to the party itself, prompted by the need for broader unity against the Vietnam, a unity which an explicit communist line would hamper. The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea
was the armed wing of the party.
The General Secretary of the party at the time was Pol Pot. The party led the deposed Democratic Kampuchea government. Its followers were generally called Khmer Rouge.
At the time of the formation of the PDK, the Khmer Rouge forces had been pushed back by the Vietnamese-backed KPRP government to an area near the Thai border. PDK began cooperating with other anti-Vietnamese factions, and formed the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea in 1982.
Although Pol Pot relinquished the party leadership to Khieu Samphan in 1985, he continued to wield a considerable influence over the movement.
Ahead of the 1992/1993 elections, PDK did not register and vowed to sabotage the holding of the elections. Subsequently, UNTAC decided not to conduct elections in areas under PDK control. At the time it was estimated that approximately six percent of the population in Cambodia lived in areas under PDK control.
In August 1997 the party suffered a split as Ieng Sary, alongside with followers in North-Western Cambodia, broke away and founded the Democratic National Union Movement.