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Jan 29, 2021
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“For the happiness of the people.” How does the congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam resemble Soviet congresses?

Vietnam is one of the last countries in the world to remain faithful to the ideals of socialism. Scarlet flags, golden stars, portraits are everywhere. Marx and Lenin, and, of course, posters with ordinary Vietnamese confidently looking into a happy future.

On January 26, the 13th Congress of the Communist Party opened in Vietnam. Its participants must approve the country’s development program for the coming years and elect a party leadership. Due to the pandemic, the congress is being held online for the first time, so the AIF correspondent also got the opportunity to watch it. ru.

Small successful country

The day before the opening of the congress on January 25, according to tradition, the highest officials of the Communist Party went to the tomb Ho Chi Minh – the founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which he remained until his death in 1969.

The country he built is still one of the five states in the world that follow the ideals of socialism and communism – together with China, Laos, Cuba and North Korea. And along with China, Vietnam is perhaps one of the most successful in this. After relinquishing tight government control over the economy, Vietnam has achieved impressive growth. According to the World Bank, this year, despite all the problems with the coronavirus, the country’s economy will grow by 6.8%. By the way, this is 0.3% more than the target previously set by the Vietnamese government. Maintaining high rates of economic development became the main topic discussed at the 13th Party Congress.

Further measures to combat the coronavirus will also be discussed. Thanks to strict quarantine measures, Vietnam has managed to avoid a large number of infected people. According to official data, there were only 1,500 of them in the country.

In addition, it was planned to elect members of the Central Committee of the party, consisting of 200 people, as well as the Politburo, in which from 15 to 19 members. The Politburo, in turn, will elect from among its ranks four top leaders: the Secretary General, the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament.

Vietnam
Photo: Reuters

Vote unanimously

On the eve of the congress, the delegates made symbolic gestures that were traditionally established, referring to the history of the country. After visiting the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, members of the Politburo, Secretariat and heads of delegations of centrally subordinated party organizations laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen Veterans during the Vietnam War. For Vietnam, this war has become as important a glue as the Great Patriotic War for modern Russia.

The attributes of the congress itself are also well known to those residents of Russia who found communist forums during the USSR period. During the congress, the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, was festively decorated with red flags with a hammer and sickle and numerous posters. Plenary sessions are held in a huge assembly hall, they vote in the old fashioned way, without the use of technical innovations, simply holding a red card with the party symbols in their hand. The votes were mostly unanimous, however, so far no really serious questions have been raised.

Vietnam
Photo: Reuters

The main question is whether the current general secretary of the party will remain Nguyen Phu Chong at his post. He is no longer young (76 years old), but enjoys great prestige in the party. The rules do not allow a person over 65 years of age to occupy a senior management position or if he has already held it for two terms. But the delegates have the option to lift those restrictions and allow Chong to serve one more term.

The new leader, whoever he is, will work to transform Vietnam into a “prosperous and happy country.” What is a happy country – the delegates of the congress will try to answer this question. Judging by the discussions that preceded the forum, more and more people believe that happiness lies not in economic growth and high income, but in a peaceful and calm life. Local communists even received a proposal to supplement the concept of happiness by including such criteria as satisfaction with one’s life and health. So it turns out that the delegates at the congress are literally engaged in “people’s happiness.”

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