Saturday, 30/5/2020
On the relations of The Party leads, The State manages, The People master
10/4/2020 10:3' Send Print
General Secretary, State President Nguyen Phu Trong and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man attending the Great National Unity Festival in Vinh Quang Commune (Vinh Bao District, Hai Phong City, November 2017). Photo: VNA

The achievements

Enlightening by the Platform on national construction during the transition period to socialism (supplemented, developed in 2011), the 2013 Constitution has institutionalized “the Party leads the State and society” with the content that is politically and legally new, deeply demonstrating the position, role and political-legal responsibility between the Party, the State and the people.

Being aware of the position, role and responsibility, the Communist Party of Vietnam has maintained and increasingly promoted, also been considered as a factor to guide the existence and development of the relationship between the three components: the Party, the State, and the people.

Without new directions under the Party's leadership, such as initiating the building of socialist rule-of-law state and strengthening the people's right to mastery in the Party's resolutions, the state apparatus cannot be increasingly be reformed, renewed and perfected; through their socio-political unions, the people has extensively involed in the State's activities and protected their legitimate rights and interests. The Party's leadership mode for the State and society set forth in the Platform are applied and implemented in the condition of building a socialist-oriented market economy and international integration; building the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people. The most striking point is that the awareness of democracy, rule of law, publicity, transparency in the content and leadership mode of the Party for the State and society has been gradually improved.

Institutionalizing the Platform, the 2013 Constitution affirms that our State is “a socialist rule-of-law state of the people, by the people and for the people”, “all state power belongs to the people”, that is organized and operated according to a new principle, namely “the state power is unified, with the assignment and coordination, control among state agencies in the exercise of legislative, executive and judiciary powers” (Article 2, The 2013 Constitution). With these new political-legal thoughts, our country, for the first time, has witnessed the coherent seperation of state power among the legislation, execution, and judiciary and power controlling has become a constitutional principle.

Up to now, the state apparatus has been built and completed one more step; duties and authorities of institutions in the state apparatus are prescribed transparently that lead to limit the reliance and dependence; people have opportunities to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of these institutions’ performance, authorities of each right; between conditional rights to control the exercise of assigned state power. The supreme supervision of the National Assembly, the social supervision and criticism of the Fatherland Front at all levels and socio-political organizations for the activities of state agencies have been strengthened.

As the political base of the people’s authority, The Vietnam Fatherland Front represents the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of the people; gathering and promoting the strength of great national unity; exercising democracy and strengthening social consensus; also its new duties and authorities are social supervision and criticism, as being assigned to in the 2013 Constitution and the 2015 Law on Vietnam Fatherland Front.

With these new duties and authorities, the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels has annually conducted thousands of social supervision and criticism samples. As the result, it can be said that social supervision and criticism, though a new assigned task, have become a regular activity of the Fatherland Front and other socio-political organizations. These activities have created favorable conditions for people of all strata to promote their mastery while involving in the process of making policies, laws, strategies, schemes, projects and other socio-economic development plans at both local and national levels.

These advantages are first and foremost derived from the Party's new ideas and perspectives set out in the Platform (supplemented, developed in 2011), such as adding the principles of state power organizing an element of controlling state power; upholding direct democracy, the people exercising state power not only through the National Assembly, the People's Councils and other entities but also by the forms of direct democracy; socialist democracy is the nature of our regime, which is considered as a goal and a driving force of national development.

The limitations and inadequacies

Placing one-sided emphasis on the Party’s leadership, featuring the inevitability in people’s mastery is considered as a consequence, a natural result of the Party's leadership and the State's management. Although the Party is the leading force of the political system, the role “at the same time is a component of that system” (Platform) is not clearly shown, resulting in a small part of Party and State cadres and members occationally consider themselves “masters” instead of “servants” of the people; self-criticism and criticism are exercisied in a very formalized way.

In awareness and practical activities, it seems to represent a fact that numerous Party committees at all levels, party cadres and members still consider themselves higher than the State and the People, standing above the State and the People; not take the legitimate rights and interests of the people seriously.

The political power of the Party is enormous, but even in the Party Charter, the law of the State do not specify the authorities and responsibilities of the party organizations, as well as individuals that head these party organizations; thus, it seems to be that, in many cases, the actual power of the heads of party committees at all levels are not fully controlled. As the results, many individuals, who hold the important responsibility in the Party and the State at all levels, have favorable conditions to manipulate power, expand autocracy and dictatorship, or loosen leadership roles.

The organization and operation of the socialist rule-of-law state has not really emphasized the importance to the control of state power. The 2013 Constitution has created the constitutional foundation for the birth of three mechanisms for state power control.

It is the mechanism by which the people control state power, including: the Vietnam Fatherland Front, to supervise and criticize society (Article 9); citizens exercising state power in the form of direct democracy (Article 6) and the basic direct democratic rights of citizens (Articles in Chapter II); mechanisms for controlling state power among agencies in exercising legislative, executive, judicial powers (including the internal power control mechanism of each right (self-control) and mechanism of mutual controlling among these rights) and the constitutional protection mechanism in accordance with the law (Clause 2, Article 119).

However, up to now, those mechanisms of controlling state power have not been fully established and perfected. Although the mechanism of the people's control of state power was created through institutionalization on social supervision and criticism in the Law of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the regulations were not sufficiently in order, procedures, effectiveness, as well as the responsibilities of the subject to social supervision and criticism. The mechanism for controlling state power among new authorities only attaches the importance to the supreme supervision of the National Assembly over the exercise of executive and judicial powers, but how the executive and judicial power control legislative one is left open. Inside each right has not formed a mechanism to control its own power. The Law on Organization of the National Assembly; the Law on Organization of the Government, the Law on Organization of the People's Courts and the Law on Organization of the People's Procuracies, which were enacted after the 2013 Constitution, do not have a regulation for self-control mechanisms within their power. The control of state power by the specialized constitutional mechanism in our country has not been set up yet. Therefore, the policy of “building a mechanism of judgment on violations of the Constitution in the exercise of legislative, executive and judicial powers”, which is recorded in the Party's X Congress Document, has not been implemented so far. Since the mechanism of controlling state power under the 2013 Constitution has not been fully and completely established, the prevention and punishment of bureaucracy, corruption, waste, irresponsibility, abuse of power, violation of citizenship, though in recent years has been strengthened, has not met the expectations of the people and public opinion.

Prior the 2013 Constitution was enacted, the organization and operation of the state apparatus did not comply with the principle of democratic centralism, there was no assignment, division, decentralization and no respect for control of the state power, but based on the principle of focusing on the individuals who head the committees and the governments at all levels, the groups become the one who legitimize the will of the heads of the committees; thus, the situation of power manipulation, corruption and waste happens quite often, leaving consequences that the recent years we still have had to deal with. The State, especially the grassroots government, has not closely attached to the people, considered the exercise of the people's mastery, as well as respected and listened to the people’s opinions.

Socialist democracy has not really become the engine of development. Many of the citizens’ direct mastery are recognized by the Constitution but until now they have not been institutionalized, such as “citizens have the right to participate in state and social management, to participate in discussions and recommendations with the state agencies on issues of grassroots, local and national levels”(Article 28, Clause 1); The right to assembly and association (Article 25) ... Right to vote is the most important political right in a democratic and the rule-of-law state is slowly renewed. The elections for National Assembly deputies and people's councils at all levels are still in very formal way. The social supervision and criticism of the Fatherland Front at all levels was organized, but the quality was limited. There are many inspections, but human rights and citizenship rights are sometimes violated. It can be said that the people's rights of mastery have not been guaranteed and fully promoted.

The limitations and shortcomings are mainly due to the following reasons:

Firstly, the Party's leadership mode outlined in the Platform is the mode for the State and society in general. Applying these methods should not be molded, formalized and treated as the same framework for all agencies and organizations of the state apparatus and other socio-political organizations. In reality, however, the implementing of Party's leadership methods is molded, formalized and lack of flexibility.

For example, the Party's leadership for the National Assembly must be different from the Party's leadership for the Government - an institution that primarily respects the responsibilities of the head of the government and ministers, due to the fact that the organization and operation of the National Assembly are collective and in favor of democracy; and even more diverged from the Party's methods of leading the Court - promoting independence and respecting the rule of law. Finding and applying the Party's leadership methods in accordance with the characteristics of institutions and organizations to promote the role of the State and the socio-political organizations of the people is a practical necessity. This can be seen as a cause for the institutions of the state apparatus to rely on the Party, become less active, creative and not fully promote its responsibilities.

Secondly, the State and the socio-political organizations still depend on the Party. It can be said that the relationship between “the Party leads, the State manages and the people master” is mainly one-sided, the Party initiates and proposes the guidelines, the State and the people can implement it as follows. However, the influence of the State and the people on the Party's leadership to promote, enhance the role and leadership of the Party is limited. It can be said that the relationship between “The Party leads, The State manages, The People master” is still a one-way static relationship, so it can be considered as a cause for the relationship to be less dynamic.

Third, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations, which recognized by the Platform, have a significant role in exercising democracy, participating in building the Party and the State, and protecting legitimate rights and interests of the people. Nevertheless, the personel arrangement at all levels has not been commensurate with their role. Therefore, the voice of the people through the representatives of the Fatherland Front at all levels does not have enough “weight” to the Party’s leadership and the State’s management. In a unitary democracy like our country, the Fatherland Front must be an institution that is geared towards overcoming the shortcomings of that democracy. Therefore, cadres, especially the heads of the Fatherland Fronts at all levels, must be reputable and qualified people as those who hold the key positions in party’s organizations and state agencies.

Issues raised on awareness and solving the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages and the People master.

Today, the context, which affects the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages, the people master, has fundamentally changed. It is a socialist-oriented market economy that has been built up into a certain development step and fully revealed its movement rules. The socialist rule-of-law state is constructed that based on new principles; the people's mastery, the assignment and control of state power are highly appreciated. The intellectuals and democracy of people at all strata have been raised to a new level. Extensive international integration focuses not only on economics but also on all aspects of culture, science, and technology... The Fourth Industrial Revolution has changed people's mindset and lifestyles. In that context, it is necessary to renovate the awareness and ways to resolve the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages and the people master.

- For the Party, it is required not only to creatively apply the existing leadership methods in accordance with the changed conditions and to find new leadership modes for the State and society, but also to innovate an organization and content of its leadership towards the State and society. First, the Party must control state power and then control its leadership. Democracy and the rule of law must become the driving force of the Party's development and a decisive factor in democracy and rule of law in the management of the State and in promoting the people's mastery.

- For the State, it is required not only to continue building and perfecting the state apparatus according to new principles, namely all the state power belongs to the people; State power is unified with the arrangement, coordination and control among state agencies in the exercise of legislative, executive and judicial powers to ensure the effective and efficient management, prevention of abuse of state power, but also have to undertake the function of tectonic government and guide new social relations, responding to the alternations in people's mindset and lifestyle due to The Fourth Industrial Revolution via legislative activities of the National Assembly and the Government. Human rights, civil rights, especially the direct mastery of citizens, need to be continued institutionalizing. Fairness and justice need to be continued upholding throughout justice activities.

- Our country's political system is the unitary political system. That political system has both advantages and disadvantages. The operational reality of our country's political system indicates that, although being defined in our Party’s Platform, democracy is both a goal and a driving force of development, but in fact democracy is still in a very formalized way and the mastery of the people have not been fully promoted. Recognizing that defect, in our opinion, on the one hand, the Party and the State in its organization and activities must be truly democratic and transparent; at the same time, they must play the role as leading factors in creating the environment and conditions for the people to be truly masters; on the other hand, the people, through their social organizations and individuals, improve their mastery.

Accordingly, on the side of organizing the state apparatus, should it be necessary to strengthen the state criticism institutions towards the guidelines, policies and laws of the Party and the State. On the people's side, the Vietnam Fatherland Front must undertake the role of as an institution to overcome the deficiencies of unitary democracy by strengthening the function of social supervision and criticism. Having acknowledged the shortcomings in the implementation of the unitary democracy, it is necessary to raise awareness and seek solutions to effectively solve the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages and the people master.

Fostering awareness and orienting the settlement of the relationship between the Party leads, the State manages and the people master.

1- Awareness fostering:

- In order for socialist democracy to become the goal and the driving force of development, the Party and the State must be truly democratic in their organizations and activities, specially create the environment and conditions in which the People are the real masters.

- The Party leads the political system, and at the same time is a component of that system. That does not allow the Party to stand above the State, political organizations and the people’s unions. The position and role of the components that make up the relationship are different, but the nature of this relationship is in favor of equality, socialist democracy and people's mastery.

- Control of the Party's leadership and State power is an extremely important principle in the power organization of the socialist rule of law state. Accordingly, the leadership of the Party as well as the state power are delegated by the people which are limited by the Constitution.

Therefore, the Party and the State must base on the Constitution to transparently and specifically institutionalize their rights and responsibilities as a basis to control power. In control of power, the controls of the manipulation of power by the heads of the committees and the heads of state agencies at all levels of the government have a decisive role. Prevention and control of the corruption of major and fundamental power focus on controlling the abuse of power, manipulation of power of those who hold important responsibilities in party organizations and state agencies at all levels based on the duties and powers prescribed by law.

- The relationship between the Party leads, the State manages, and the people master is the biggest and most basic relationship in the political-legal life in our country. In the new and specific conditions of our country's political system, new thinking, new and drastic actions are required to continue innovating the quality of this relationship.

2- Orientation of relationship settlement

Firstly, continuing to renew the Party's leadership over the State and society.

Continuing to innovate the content and leadership method of the Party in accordance with the new conditions in the direction of creating more favorable conditions and environment for the institutions of the state apparatus to be dynamic, creative, independent, ensuring the work is carried out properly, bases on their authorities and responsibilities.

At the same time, strengthening the control of state power to timely prevent and control the manipulation of power by the heads of state agencies and party organizations. Continuing to renovate the content and mode of leadership of the Party for the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the people’s unions in the direction of further promoting the people's mastery; democracy must really become the engine of development in new conditions.

Secondly, continuing to build and perfect the socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people a democratic state, uphold the spirit of rule of law, all state power belongs to the people.

Continuing to raise awareness, properly implement the principles of assignment, coordination and control among state agencies in the exercise of legislative, executive and judicial powers to amend and supplement laws on organize the state apparatus in the spirit of the 2013 Constitution and the Resolution of the 6th Plenum of the Central Party to achieve a lean, effective and efficient state apparatus, with the aim of controlling society at first and then controlling themelves.

Promoting decentralization and authorization between the Central Government and local authorities at all levels according to the 2013 Constitution and the Party's resolutions.

Building a strong and de facto National Assembly in legislation, supreme supervision and decisions on the country's major issues; together is a dynamic and creative and effectively managed government; a justice system for justice, for human rights, for civil rights.

Thirdly, continuing to promote the people's right to mastery so that democracy really becomes a driving force of development in the next coming time.

It is suggested that the Party and the State should create favorable conditions and environment for the people to exercise their mastery through open and friendly guidelines, policies and laws, as well as to exercise basic democratic rights with ease. In which, formulating and perfecting the rule of law system on people’s direct right to mastery, such as the Election Law, the Law on Associations, the Law on citizens’ right to participation in state management, the Law on Social Supervision and Criticism...

The Vietnam Fatherland Front and other socio-political organizations should be aware of these duties; strongly and substantially implement the function of social supervision and criticism, considering it as a mean of people’s representative organizations to comprehensively control the Party's guidelines, the State’s policies and laws. The Party and the State consider it as a method to overcome the shortcomings in operating the unitary political system./.

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This article was published in the Communist Review No. 927 (October 2019)

Professor Doctor Tran Ngoc DuongFormer Deputy Head of the National Assembly Office