Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has rescheduled the June 28 celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of its founding for July 1, the first day of the campaign period for the July 23 general election.

He explained his reasoning while meeting with nearly 20,000 workers in the Prey Speu area of the capital’s Por Sen Chey district on June 28, noting that the gathering happened to be on the date of the anniversary. He said party officials have decided to celebrate it on July 1 with a large event on day one of the campaign period.

He acknowledged an outpouring of thanks on social media from supporters on the day of the anniversary.

“It is true that the party is 72 years old and the party president is 71 years old. I was born after the formation of the party, but for the past 46 years, I have led the struggle for national liberation, and fought to unite the nation, seek peace, and secure the Kingdom’s territory so it could develop in the way we all enjoy today,” he said.

He noted the June 28, 1951 birth of the party in a social media post.

“Since its birth, the CPP has always adhered to its purpose and ideals of standing with the people, connecting with them and sharing their happiness and suffering. The party has overcome all obstacles, and had the courage to make the sacrifices needed to bring the Kingdom independence, peace, freedom, democracy, neutrality and social progress,” said the post.

“The party has been responsible for many great achievements and earned great merit for the nation and the people of Cambodia. It was the only political group that stood up and mobilised patriotic forces to form the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation in order to inspire and lead people’s movements throughout the country to overthrow the genocidal regime of Pol Pot,” it added.

He described the CPP as an important contributor to building and developing the nation, in the past, present and future.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on June 28 that in the 72 years since the founding of the CPP, the party has not only pulled the Cambodian people from the abyss of death under the Democratic Kampuchea regime, but continued to serve the people until the present day.

“From the meeting between Hun Sen and the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk in 1987 to the Paris Peace Agreements of October 23, 1991, the party’s dignitaries participated in maintaining peace,” he said.

“The fact that the party did not celebrate its 72nd anniversary on June 28, the day the party was formed, does not matter. The Cambodian people know and understand the CPP,” he added.

On the occasion of the anniversary, lawmaker Hun Many said the CPP was born from the resistance movement of the people in the struggle for national independence and has continued its mission for the motherland and the people.

“For the past 72 years, the party has accomplished invaluable achievements for the nation and the people, especially the liberation of the country from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime on January 7, 1979. As the next generation of cadres, we are committed to maintaining our patriotic path and serving the motherland,” he said in a social media post.