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“Our Party is a ruling party"

In Vietnam, to date, there has not been such a well and scientifically organised party that earns the wholehearted support and affection of the People right from its inception like the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). This is the beauty of political culture, the results of the movement and the ripe development of objective conditions and the preparation of subjective factors, the recognition, trust, worship, and trust of the People. This is the most fundamental things that define the nature, prestige, position and help our Party become a ruling Communist Party, leading the revolution. With that spirit, for the first time in the history of congresses, the documents submitted to the 13th Congress of the Party introduced the phrase a "ruling Party" over the State and society. To clarify the content of this issue, the National Defence Journal would like to introduce a series of articles: "Our Party is a ruling party" writen by Major General, Associate Professor, PhD. Nguyen Ba Duong and Major General, PhD. Do Hong Lam.

I. History and logic

1- In the time of K. Mark and F. Engels, the proletariat had not gained any government before, so it was unable to establish the state of the proletariat. K. Mark and F. Engels were unable to fully address and analyse this issue, but focused on explaining more deeply the relationship between classes, the role of class struggles and social revolution in the event of class resistance and class struggle. On that basis, they discovered and pointed out the role and the historic mission of the proletariat, the need to form the political party of the proletariat and the role of the political parties in the process of leading the proletarian revolution to success, ruling and building a new social regime, fulfilling the aspirations of human liberation, peace, prosperity, freedom and happiness.

Inheriting and creatively developing the basic ideology of the Marxist founders on building the independent political party of the proletariat in the new conditions, V.I. Lenin built a scientific and revolutionary doctrine about the new Marxist party as a ruling party, leading the revolution, building a socialist regime. At the same time, he directly organised, founded, and led the Democratic People's Party of Russia - a new-type-proletarian political party. According to V.I. Lenin, the objective indispensability to establish and constantly consolidate and promote the ruling role, the leadership of the new Marxist party is that it is the basic and primary condition determining the success of the revolution. Unlike all contemporary political parties, the new Marxist party was the political vanguard and the highest working-class organisation. It is the conscience, wisdom, honour and pride of the working class and the entire working people in the struggle to eliminate all oppression, exploitation, injustice, for class, national, social and people liberation and building a new social regime – the socialist society. At the same time, he asserted that a truly revolutionary Communist Party, capable of leading the state and society, will of course become a factor that ensures the successful implementation of the worldwide historical mission of the worker class; that if the party members voluntarily strived and sacrificed for the Party's goals and ideals, the Party would have a high unity in politics, ideas, organisation and staff. That is an objective requirement, asking the Communist Party to be deeply aware of its responsibility, steadfast in politics, highly intellectual, and strictly abide by the principles in the organisation and leading the revolution.

2 – “Ruling party” is a concept of political science which is used to refer to a political party representing the class holding power and leading the government to organise and manage the country, protect the interests of the ruling class. Regarding the historical inevitability of the ruling party, the majority of politicians and political scientists in the world believe that the ruling party is the one that wins the democratic elections and holds the supremacy in the competition among parties; has real leadership to decide the way and mode of operation in the name of state power.

For the socialist countries, the Communist Parties have their own ways to become the ruling parties. To become the ruling parties, they lead the people to stand up and fight against "internal and external enemies", conduct the proletariat revolution or the people's democratic revolution to overthrow the exploiting class and establish a new working class government. After completing the revolution and gaining power to its own hands, the Communist Parties leads the state and its apparatus, renovates the old society, and builds a new socialist regime. When the Communist Parties take power, it means "holding that power all alone". According to V.I. Lenin, in a socialist political system, only the Communist Party has the power to lead the state and society, without competition or sharing power with other political parties; builds the unitary state without opposing party competing for state power.

President Ho Chi Minh reads the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945 at Ba Dinh Square (A file photo)

In Vietnam, on February 3, 1930, a new Marxist party founded, organised, educated and trained by President Ho Chi Minh, was officially born, under the mandate of the nation and Vietnamese people. It then became the only party in power and led the Vietnamese revolution from victories to victories. Deeply aware of the Party's glorious role and mission, President Ho Chi Minh always paid special attention to the work of Party building and rectification in the condition that the Party was the only one in power. President Ho Chi Minh was the first to use the term “ruling Communist Party of Vietnam” to specify the nature, role and position of the Party as the only party organisation in the political system in Vietnam holding leadership over the State and society. In his Testament, he wrote: “Our Party is a ruling party ... We must keep our Party clean and be worthy of leadership and faithful servant of the people". According to the general principles and specific characteristics, since September 2, 1945, right after the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, our Party held the state power and directly led the State and socio-political organisations, built and consolidated the revolutionary forces and fulfilled the goal: bringing "power", legitimate interest and happiness to the people. Since that time, CPV officially became the ruling Party with the true nature, meaning, role and mission mandated.

For our Party, "ruling Party" also infers “Party’s leadership”; the Party holds the power of the State but not replace the State. The Party’s leadership, in essence, means that it uses the State, lead the State and the political system to exercise the People's mastery, strive for the common purpose of the entire society and Vietnamese people according to the motto: "Try to do whatever is good for the people and avoid whatever is harmful to the people"; wholeheartedly serve the Fatherland and the people.

The Party’s leadership and the State’s governance are two centres of power with different origins, positions and roles. Therefore, it is impossible to unify the Party's power with that of the State. The power of the ruling Party is most evident in the political power: The Party outlines the political principles, undertakings, lines, and orientation for leading the State, socio-political organisations and the entire nation in the implementation of revolutionary goals and missions. State power is the power to govern the society by the Constitution and law, serve the society, construct and develop the country according to the Party's guidelines and undertakings. In special historical circumstances (war), when the Party's primary political task is to protect the State administration, the Party has to unify the power of the Party and the power of the State to realise the key political tasks and meet the requirements and missions of the revolution. When the revolution has new developments, the Party would delineate and redivide the powers between the Party and the State to suit the nature, characteristics and requirements of the mission in the new revolutionary period.

As the sole party ruling and leading the State and the society, CPV’s leadership has been recognised by the people, and stipulated in Constitution and law. The Party’s leadership is exercised through its leadership over the public apparatus rather than transforming itself into the state, standing above the state or replacing the state. In theory as well as in the principles of practical operation, our Party is not a public agency and therefore, it does not take over the functions and duties of a public agency. This fact rejects the wrong and hostile view when unifying the Party's power with that of the State and denies the leadership of the Party and the nature of socialist democracy in our country.

The CPV’s rule and leadership role over the State and the society is based on the immutable principle of the unitary political system, which is ruled by one Party and no competition from an opposing party. This is a unique feature that reflects the objective historical inevitability in its leadership. Exercising its leadership role and ruling the revolution in the new context, our Party is deeply aware of the problems and shortcomings caused by the above principle's historical limitations. Therefore, our Party pays special attention to researching and applying creatively the Marxist-Leninist doctrine, Ho Chi Minh's thought on building a new-style Marxist party; attaches importance to building and regulating the Party, preventing and combating degenerations in political ideology, morality, lifestyle, internal "self-transformation", "self-transformation", and manifestation of authoritarian, dictatorship, bureaucracy, corruption, and undemocratic actions. The Resolutions of 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Congresses, especially the Central Resolution 4 (11th and 12th tenure) of the Party have demonstrated the great political will of our Party to strengthen the construction and rectification of the apparatus of the Party, State and political system.

The historical inevitability of the CPV’s leadership has also been reflected in the pioneering and vanguard role as "the faithful servant of the people", through the close relationships between the Party and the People. When the power had not yet been grasped, the Party had to rely on the people, was nurtured and protected from the enemy's. When becoming the ruling party, holding political power which can decide people's political life, state management power, the Party should regularly reform and rectify to deserve the people's trust and love.

From the above analysis, we can generalise the historical inevitability of the CPV’s leadership through the following points:

(1). The CPV’s ruling and leading role over the State and society is recognised, trusted, supported and respected by the Vietnamese people, stipulated in the Constitution and laws. This did not come naturally or by accident, but undergone a long process, tested and verified by the history of the Vietnamese nation and the history of the Ho Chi Minh era revolution, and through the history of the 90-year process of revolutionary leadership, the Party has affirmed its role, prestige and position as nowadays.

 (2). The Party appeared on time and promptly responded to the questions of its seniors, the urgent demands of the revolution and of the People; gave out the right leadership guidelines and undertakings. As a result, the Party gathered and organised a powerful revolutionary force for the common struggle. The Party found in the people a reliable helping hand and an unlimited source for the revolution. The people found in the Party's beliefs, guides and leadership in the revolutionary struggle. Therefore, the ruling and leading role of the Party has been affirmed as a historical inevitability, a correct choice of the nation.

(3). The Party is entrusted to act as loyal delegates for the interests of the worker class, the working people and the whole nation. The history of Vietnamese revolution has confirmed that truth. In Vietnam, there is no political force that can replace the CPV’s great position, role and mission, which is entrusted by the people.

(4). Our party is the sole ruling party. It does not share power with any other party during its leadership. It should be clear that our Party "does not share power", but not exists alone. This is not the monopoly of leadership power but the inevitable result of history, the choice of the People, of the entire nation; no one can deny that obvious truth.

(5). As members of a ruling party, leading the State and the society, each Party official and member must be truly exemplary in quality and capacity; absolutely loyal to the glorious revolutionary cause of the Party. They must not act against the moral standards of the communists, or the values ​​and interests, beliefs and expectations of the People.

(6). The Party implements the principle of collective leadership, individual accountability, self-criticism and criticism, being exemplary in quality and competence, virtue and talent. These are the most fundamental things that need to be inscribed, striving for lifelong implementation for each official, party member, to strive to avoid mistakes in perception and leadership activities of a ruling Communist Party.

(7). The Party must self-adjust, supplement, develop and perfect its guidelines and undertakings; continue to renew the mode of leadership over the political system and the entire society, making the Party's will - people's hearts become new driving force to realise aspirations of development and innovation and bringing about new achievements to the cause of renewal, national construction and defence.

(Next: II. Great responsibility to the nation)

Maj. Gen., Assoc Prof, PhD. NGUYEN BA DUONG and Maj. Gen., PhD. DO HONG LAM

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