May 25

This Day in History

Vietnam War

May 25, 1969:

National Democratic Front formed in Saigon

South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu assumes personal leadership of the National Social Democratic Front at its inaugural meeting in Saigon. Thieu said the establishment of this coalition party was "the first concrete step in unifying the political factions in South Vietnam for the coming political struggle with the communists," and emphasized that the new party would not be "totalitarian or despotic." The six major parties comprising the NSDF coalition were: the Greater Union Force, composed largely of militant Roman Catholic refugees from North Vietnam; the Social Humanist Party, successor to the Can Lao party, which had held power under the Ngo Dinh Diem regime; the Revolutionary Dai Viet, created to fight the French; the Social Democratic Party, a faction of the Hoa Hao religious sect; the United Vietnam Kuomintang, formed as an anti-French party; and the People's Alliance for Social Revolution, a pro-government bloc formed in 1968.

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