| Stamp featuring Ho Chi Minh commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party
The Communist Party of Vietnam (Đảng Cộng Sản Việt Nam) is the ruling party in Vietnam. It is a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party supported by (and is a part of) the Vietnamese Fatherland Front.
The party was founded by Ho Chi Minh and other exiles living in China as the Vietnam Communist Party but soon changed its name to the Indochinese Communist Party after its founding conference held in Hong Kong in February 1930. The First National Party Congress was held in secret in Macau in 1935. At the same time, a Comintern congress in Moscow adopted a policy towards a popular front against fascism and directed Communist movements around the world to collaborate with anti-fascist forces regardless of their orientation towards socialism. This required the ICP to regard all nationalist parties in Indochina as potential allies.
The party was formally dissolved in 1945 in order to hide its Communist affiliation and its activites were folded into the Viet Minh, which had been founded four years earlier as a common front for national liberation. The party was refounded as the Vietnam Workers Party at the Second National Party Congress in Tuyen Quang in 1951. The congress was held in territory in north Vietnam controlled by the Viet Minh during the First Indochinese War. The Third National Congress, held in Hanoi in 1960 formalized the tasks of constructing socialism in what was by then North Vietnam and committed the party to carrying out the resoultion in the South. At the Fourth National Party Congress held in 1976 after the North's victory in the Vietnam War, the party's name was changed to the Communist Party of Vietnam.
The CPV is a Marxist-Leninist party run on democratic centralist lines. In 1976, as a result of the unification of North and South Vietnam, the Central Committee was expanded to 133 members from 77 and the Politburo grew from 11 to 17 members while the Secretariat increased from seven to nine members.
Membership in the party doubled from 760,000 in 1966 to 1,553,500 in 1976, representing 3.1 percent of the total population of the country, and was close to two million by 1986.
At the Sixth National Party Congress, held in December 1986, Nguyen Van Linh was named general secretary while a Politburo of fourteen members was elected and the Central Committee was expanded to 173 members.
At the Ninth National Party Congress in 2001, Nong Duc Manh became the new general secretary.
The present 15-member Politburo, elected in April 2001, determines government policy, and its nine-person Secretariat oversees day-to-day policy implementation. Although there has been some effort to discourage membership in overlapping party and state positions, this practice continues. Four Politburo members (Phan Van Khai, Nguyen Tan Dung, Le Minh Huong, and Pham Van Tra) concurrently hold high positions in the government. In addition, the Party's Central Military Commission, which is composed of select Politburo members and additional military leaders, determines military policy.
A Party Congress, comprising 1,168 delegates at the Ninth Party Congress in April 2001, meets every 5 years to set the direction of the party and the government. The 150-member Central Committee, which is elected by the Party Congress, usually meets at least twice a year, with the Politburo meeting more frequently and the Secretariat being responsible for day to day activities under the direction of the General Secretary.
Though formally Marxist-Leninist, the Communist Party of Vietnam has moved towards market reforms in the economy and has permitted a growing private sector. However, the party retains a monopoly on power.
- Official web site (http://www.cpv.org.vn/index_e.asp)
- The birth of the Communist Party of Vietnam (http://www.nhandan.org.vn/english/history/20020420.html) Article recalling the party's founding in 1930.
See also: List of Communist Parties, List of political parties in Vietnam, List of political parties