The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), also known as the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP), is the founding and sole legal party of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Although it nominally exists alongside the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, it maintains a unitary government and has centralized control over the state, military, and media. The supremacy of the CPV is guaranteed by Article 4 of the national constitution. Founded in 1930, the CPV became the ruling party of North Vietnam in 1954 and then all of Vietnam in 1976 after seizing power in South Vietnam.
The CPV is organized on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. The highest institution of the CPV is the party's National Congress, which elects the Central Committee. In between party congresses, the Central Committee is the supreme organ on party affairs. After a party congress, the Central Committee elects the Politburo and Secretariat, and appoints the First Secretary, the highest party office. In between sessions of the Central Committee, the Politburo is the supreme organ on party affairs. However, it can only implement decisions based upon the policies which have been approved in advance by either the Central Committee or the party's National Congress. As of 2017, the 12th Politburo has 19 members. The current party leader is Nguyễn Phú Trọng, who holds the titles of General Secretary of the Central Committee and Secretary of the Central Military Commission.
The CPV is committed to communism and participates in the annual International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties. The party is also known for its advocacy of what it calls a "socialist-oriented market economy", as well as Hồ Chí Minh Thought, which combines Vietnamese culture, French revolutionary ideas, liberal ideas, Marxist–Leninist ideas, and Hồ Chí Minh's personal qualities.
The CPV implemented a command economy in Vietnam before introducing economic reforms, known as Đổi Mới, in 1986. The party was aligned with the Soviet Union and its allies during the Cold War. The Vietnamese public and state media generally refer to the CPV simply as Đảng ("the Party") or Đảng ta ("our Party").
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