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Ensuring the Party’s leadership for promoting democracy in the renovation period
18/4/2007 16:29' Send Print

Democracy is a deep aspiration of the people. Struggles throughout human history have been fights for democracy of the oppressed and exploited people. Democracies in different societies have both common, similar features as well as different characteristics. The common and similar features have formed the popular values of democracy. The democracy of each nation depends on the socio-economic development and people’s intellectual standards and the capability to practice democracy in their country. There is no general democracy which suits all countries and nations. Therefore, one can not impose the democracy of one society onto other societies.

During the process of leading the revolution, the Vietnamese Communist Party has always heightened democracy. The resolution of the 11th Party Congress clearly pointed out: “In all its activities, the Party must fully comprehend the spirit of considering the people as the foundation, build and develop the mastership of working people”. These essential spirits are both a theoretical and practical foundation for practicing and promoting democracy in the renovation process.

In promoting the democratic spirit, the 7th Party Congress passed the Platform of national construction in the transition to socialism which consisted of the following content: “The entire organization and operation of the political system of the country in the new period is to build and gradually improve the socialist democracy so as to ensure that all power belongs to the people. Democracy and social equality should be closely implemented in the daily life in all political, economic, cultural and social aspects through activities of the State which is elected by the people in the forms of direct democracy”.

At the 8th Party Congress, the Vietnamese Communist Party reaffirmed: “Building the socialist democracy is the fundamental content of renewing the political system in Vietnam. Specific mechanism and methods should be adopted to implement the principle “people know, discuss and examine”. This important way of thinking was the basis of Directive No 30-CT/TW dated 18th December 1998 on the preparation and implementation of the regulation of democracy at grassroot level.

In proposing the guidelines and strategies of long-term and comprehensive national development, the 9th Party Congress emphasized that: “Building the great national unity and promoting democracy in social life under the leadership of the Party. Practicing democracy in all political, economic, cultural and social aspects at all levels and in all branches. In detailing these viewpoints, the 5th Plenum session (9th Tenure) pointed out: “Internally practicing true democracy at grassroot political entities according to the principle of concentration of democracy and promoting the mastership of the people on the basis of implementing the direct democratic rights, enhancing representative democracy. Specifically defining the implementation of people’s rights to examine grassroot organizations and civil servants, and the replacement of unqualified cadres. Promoting democracy should be linked with the strengthening and heightening of discipline and order according to the provisions of law”.

Thus, throughout the process of renovation, the Vietnamese Communist Party has constantly practiced its consistent leadership on democracy and implemented the principle considering revolution as the people’s cause. All guidelines and policies of the Party should stem from the reality and the people. All revolutionary activities should be for the people, from the people and of the people. Strictly implementing the principle “people know, discuss and examine” etc. these basic thoughts on democracy were further and more deeply elaborated on through various Party Congresses. In the period of comprehensive renovation, in response to requirements of social life, the Party’s leadership on democracy has been heightened to a new level.

The most noteworthy event in the Party’s leadership on democracy in the renovation process was the issuance of Directive No 30-CT/TW of the Politburo on the preparation and implementation of the regulation on democracy at grassroots level. This was not only the requisite outcome of the Party’s leadership on practicing democracy but also a decisive breakthrough in order to promote democracy at grassroots level. The Directive was a turning point in both theoretical and practical aspects towards democratic issues in the renewal process. Leading the preparation and implementation of regulations on democracy at grassroots level was the step of elaborating the Party’s thinking on the promotion of democracy in daily life. It was also the renewal of leadership contents and methods of the Party in the process of expanding and enhancing democracy in the new situation. For this reason, in addition to the continuation of ideas on socialist democracy in the new revolutionary stage, the 10th Party Congress stated: “Properly practicing the regulation on democracy at grassroots level so as to create necessary conditions for the Fatherland Front, associations and people to participate in the construction of the Party, Government and political system in the current period is an action which has decisive significance to the next successes of the renovation cause”.

To implement Directive No 30-CT/TW of the Politburo, the Government issued 3 Decrees as follows: Decree No 29/1998/ND-CP dated 11th May 1998 on the implementation of democracy in communes; Decree No 71/1998/ND-CP dated 8th September 1998 on the implementation of democracy in the operation of State agencies and organizations; and Decree No 07/1999/ND-CP dated 13th February 1999 on the implementation of democracy at State owned enterprises. In carrying out Directive No 30-CT/TW, Steering Committees on the implementation of the regulations on democracy were established from central to grassroots levels. On 28th March 2002, the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (9th Tenure) issued Directive No 10-CT/TW on the enhancement of the preparation and implementation of the regulation on democracy at grassroots level.

The implementation of the regulations on democracy at grassroots level has satisfied the aspiration of people at grassroots level. A democratic atmosphere and consciousness and the compliance with the provisions of law have been considerably improved.

Results of the implementation of the regulations on grassroots democracy

- Fundamentally changing the awareness of the people and entire political system of democracy, democratic rights and socialist democratic regime.

- Initially promoted the mastership of the people in production and business. This regulation was also the direct momentum to the economic development at grassroots level.

- Created an excited and open atmosphere in society both in rural and urban areas. The implementation of this regulation also contributed to the construction of a healthy, cultural and social life and environment at grassroots level.

- Having been an effective mode and solution to address queries and handle pressing issues at grassroots level, and greatly contributed to the maintenance of political stability, social order and safety at grassroots level.

- Enhanced and renewed the leadership role and mode of the local Party organization which helped to increase the prestige of the Party at local level.

- Actively contributed to the administration reforms and the construction of sound local authorities acting transparently and without reproach.

- Promoted the role and position of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other social-political organizations at local level. Enhanced the renovation of organizational and operational modes of mass organizations according to the new situation.

To better carry out the movement of implementing the regulation on grassroots democracy, further efforts should be given to the following issues:

- Attaching the implementation of the regulation on grassroots democracy to the implementation of socio-economic, national defense and security, cultural and environmental targets, the enhancement and construction of local political systems, administrative reform, the streamlining and purifying of the Party’s organization and State apparatus, the promotion of the role and position of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations.

- Combining the implementation of the regulations on grassroots democracy with the implementation of the regulations on the synchronous cooperation between the Party, administration, Fatherland Front and mass organizations in order to build a healthy and sound political system at grassroots level.

- Properly handling the relationship between democracy and discipline; decisively dealing with subversive elements who exploited democracy to create disunity and instability at grassroots level.

Strengthening and bringing into full strength the steering committees on the implementation of the regulations on grassroots democracy from the central to local levels in order to improve their performance.

Nguyen Linh Khieu