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The relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery”

With reference to the orientations for the country’s development in the period of 2021-2030, according to the Draft Report for submission to the 13th National Party Congress, it is vital to “continue grasping and well handling major relationships,” including the one between the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery which will play a pivotal role in our revolution’s destiny, survival and development.

1. “The Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery” as the nature of socialist countries, including Vietnam. State and social structure within the Soviet Union and the system of socialist nations in the 20th century consisted of three main parts, namely Communist Party, State, and people. The three components were in a dialectical relationship. More specifically, the Communist Party would play the leadership role, the State as the supreme national representative would perform its functions in home and external affairs, and the people would have mastery over the execution of leadership guidelines and the elections to establish the state apparatus and enjoy their country’s achievements. In our country, since its inception, our Party has creatively applied Marxism-Leninism, fostered the value of national tradition and determined that “the Communist Party of Vietnam was founded to lead the labouring people in the revolution against imperialism towards communism.” After the success of the 1945 August Revolution, under the leadership of our Party and President Ho Chi Minh, on January 6th, 1946, the Provisional Government organised the General Election under universal suffrage, establishing the National Assembly as the first legislative body, marking a turning point in the new-style State’s history. Since then, the society in Vietnam has had sufficient three main parts, namely Party, State and people. At its 2nd Meeting, on November 9th, 1946, the 1st National Assembly enacted the first Constitution, according to which “Vietnam is a democratic republic; all powers within the country belong to all Vietnamese citizens.” It also promulgated the regulations on offices’ authorities, functions and tasks, job titles within the state apparatus, and amendment to the Constitution. While leading the country’s revolution, our Party has always set up and well managed the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s management.” As a result, it has positively changed the Vietnamese nation and people’s destiny and led the revolution to numerous victories. Currently, Vietnam is a developing nation with the per capita income of nearly 3,000 USD/year (2019); it has become an active, responsible member of the international community and most of the global organisations. Never has our country had such great potential, status and prestige.

2. The nature of the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery” in our country. This is a dialectical relationship between the three main components within the society. Although there is a difference in each part’s position, role and impact, they all share the goal of facilitating social progress.

The relationship between the Party and the State could be seen as the link between the subject of leadership and the one who realises that leadership. To defend the revolutionary fruits and represent the people to manage and maintain social development and perform the function of an independent state on an equal footing as others, the Party has led the people to establish the system of governments from Central to local levels (hereafter the State for short). Cadres and members of the Party and the State would be responsible for leading the people to successfully implement all guidelines, policies and laws by the Party and the State. Thanks to that organisational procedure and the achievements over the past 90 years plus, our Party and its rule have always been trusted and recognised by our people. Under the unitary mechanism, the Party controls and uses the State power and leads the State and the entire people to attain its goal. Nevertheless, the Party does not do all things for the State; it does not stand above or outside the State; it is part of the political system; each cadre and party member must live and work in conformity with the Constitution and law. Since the inception of the State, our entire Party, Military and people have always strived to build and perfect a socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people, and for the people. We have always devoted efforts to building a pure, strong, compact, effective state apparatus with the integration of powers (legislative, executive and judiciary) in order to institutionalise, concretise and realise the Party’s guidelines. To that end, the National Assembly will be responsible for formulating and adopting laws under a close, democratic procedure in accordance with the developments of reality. Management by the Government and all-level authorities will be flexible, dynamic and creative to foster the country’s rapid, comprehensive development in most of the fields and maintain politico-social stability. National defence and security will be strengthened unceasingly while national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity will be firmly protected. Foreign relations and international integration will be made deeper, wider, and more effective. The judiciary work will play an important role in maintaining and strictly defending the Constitution and law. Without any “restricted area,” over the years, we have investigated and prosecuted many cases, including the serious ones involving many senior cadres under the law, thereby keeping and consolidating the people’s faith in the Party, the State and the socialist regime.

The relationship between the Party and the people is the connection between the subject of leadership and the one who directly plays a decisive role in the outcome of leadership and enjoys achievements gained from the leadership. Inheriting and applying the viewpoints on the masses’ role and strength, such as “the people are like water which can move and sink the ship,” “there is nothing more precious than the people in the sky and nothing is stronger than the people’s unity in the world,” our Party has determined to “maintain a close-knit bond with the people, respect and promote the people’s right to mastery, rely on the people to build the Party, and submit to the people’s supervision.” For the sake of “wealthy people, strong nation, equality, democracy, and civilisation,” all activities of the Party have been aimed at the people’s benefits and legitimate aspirations. The Party has frequently grasped and realised the ideology on “people as the roots,” while encouraging the people’s right to mastery. Hence, one of the central tasks of the Party is to preserve and consolidate a close-knit bond with the people and rely on the people for the Party building. The people are those who directly implement the Party’s guidelines and enjoy the achievements obtained from the Party’s leadership. The people make the country’s history and they are the true masters of the country. The quality of the people’s life and the country’s social progress are the most persuasive evidence for the Party’s capability in leading our country’s revolution.

The State-people relationship is the link between masters and “servants.”  According to the current Constitution - our country’s supreme law, “the people are the masters of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; all state powers belong to the people; the people exercise the State power under the forms of direct democracy and of representative democracy through the National Assembly, the People’s Councils and other State agencies.” Therefore, “all state agencies, cadres, officials and employees must show respect for the people, devotedly serve the people, maintain close contact with the People, listen to their opinions and submit to their supervision.” On the behalf of the people, the state apparatus is established to manage and operate the society, facilitate social development, and perform its functions in home and external affairs under the Party’s leadership. The State manages the society by means of the Constitution and law, protects and ensures sufficient rights and legitimate benefits of its citizens, and assists the people in successfully building socialism and defending the Socialist Vietnamese Homeland. At the same time, it uses the tool of power granted by the people to repress and punish violations of law, detriments to the people’s peace, freedom and happiness as well as acts of sabotage against our country’s revolution. In this regard, the Constitution of 2013 stipulates that “a representative of the National Assembly and a representative of a People's Council shall be revoked from office by the electors or the National Assembly or the People's Council, when he or she is no longer worthy of the confidence of the people.”

The nature of the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery” acts as a determinant to the Vietnamese revolution’s development. All activities of the Party and the State are for the people and commissioned by the people: “all interests must be for the people; all powers must belong to the people; the people are responsible for national renewal and construction; governments from central to commune levels are elected by the people; unions from central to commune levels are organised by the people; in short, powers and forces are in the palm of the people’s hand.”

3. To well manage the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s master” in the new situation. The entire Party, Military and people must be fully aware of this relationship and adopt synchronous measures, with a focus on the main ones as follows.

First, enhance the work of education and propagation to render all cadres, party members and citizens fully aware of the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery.” Great value should be attached to clarifying the role, function, task, authority and social responsibility of each component so that each person will well perform their civic duties assigned by the Party, the State, the people and the society.

Second, frequently build a politically, ideologically, morally, organisationally strong and pure Party and raise its leadership capacity and combativeness. Consideration should be given to improving the Party’s capability in forecasting and developing guidelines and policies. Mechanisms for closely controlling powers should be quickly completed. Due attention should be paid to resolutely, persistently preventing and fighting against corruption, wastefulness, and the signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within the political system and amongst cadres and party members.

Third, build a socialist rule-of-law State in line with the training of cadres and officials within the state apparatus. It is necessary to manage the society by the Constitution and law and ensure that all state powers belong to the people and all activities of the State are aimed at “wealthy people, strong nation, democracy, equality and civilisation.”

Fourth, effectively, practically expand democracy, maintain discipline, and strengthen socialist legislation so that the people are the true masters of the country. Our country’s benefits and strength must be in agreement with the people’s interests and power. The Party and State’s function and mission are to protect and serve the people. Their powers are commissioned by the people. Party members, cadres, and officials must be loyal “servants” of the people.

Fifth, actively, proactively identify and combat the hostile forces and bad elements’ new artifices and strategies aimed at sabotaging our revolutionary fruits, “capitalising” Vietnam, separating the Party from the people, and destroying the relationship between “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s mastery.”


* Sr. Col. Nguyen Van Kieu, the Military Logistics Academy

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