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Tuesday, 02 February 2016 09:55
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Perfecting institutions to ensure power control in Vietnam at the present

(LLCT) - Controlling power to restrict power degeneration is an indispensable requirement in the process of strengthening democracy. This requirement was put forth and initially settled in ancient Greece and Rome. It was further improved in the Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe and today has become a general tendency of mankind.

However, for every nation, establishment of the institutions ensuring power control has own characteristics conditioned by economic, political, and cultural conditions.

Since its establishment, the State of Vietnam has operated according to the principle of unity of state power; all power belongs to the people. Article 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 2013 states: “The state power is united; there are mutual assignment, coordination, and control of state agencies in implementing the legislative, executive and judiciary power.” However, the institutions for controlling state power have not been clearly defined in practical activities of the state apparatus of Vietnam.

As the leader of the State and society, the CPV emphasizes internal self-control, and considered “self-criticism and criticism as development rule of the Party.” This principle was absolutely true in the period when the Party led the people to struggle to seize power, and when the Party members put the people’s interests above all else. However, when the Party became the ruling Party and part of Party members got caught in bureaucracy and corruption, it became difficult to efficiently implement this principle, because corrupt people do not carry out self-criticism of their corruption and they usually use every means to conceal and control others. Therefore, it is difficult to use criticism to thoroughly solve those matters. However, the criticism and self-criticism principle inside the Party cannot be abandoned, and so control institutions should be added from outside the party organizations. At the same time, it is also necessary to form and perfect power control institutions inside the Party. Thus, for limiting power degeneration, the inner power control institutions must be perfected inside each power entity and simultaneously the power control institutions from outside must also be perfected.

To the State, each of the legislative, executive and judicial power branches should perfect the inspection system and other self-control systems and, simultaneously, should establish mutual inter-inspectional institutions. Power must be controlled by power and only then it is possible to ensure the strict implementation of laws and to limit abuse of power and authoritarianism in power, which is the basis of the people’s control of state power. The rules on power control between the legislature, executive and judiciary bodies must be concretized to implement progressive contents of the Constitution in 2013 regarding power control. The new Constitution has suggested the ideas which have not yet been institutionalized by laws, so it is difficult to implement these ideas in practice. Rather, this power control is institutionalized right in the contents of the Constitution. This power control contents needs to be further improved, especially the role of the judiciary branch in controlling power over the legislative and the executive branches.

According to the principles of the law - rules State (when the law reflecting the people’s will is in the ultimate position), the mutual control between the legislature, executive, and judiciary branches for properly fulfilling laws is also an  indirect implementation of power control of the people over the State and the people exercise control of state power through state agencies. Implementation of this control is one of the solutions limiting the tendency of state power degeneration.

On the other hand, institutions for controlling state power outside the State must be established and perfected. Operation of these institutions requires that the State should comply with policies, laws and make amendments to policies and laws for ensuring human rights, civil rights, and for ensuring solidarity and social consensus (one of driving forces of social development). This is the role and activities of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front.

The Vietnamese Fatherland Front is an allied voluntary political union of political organizations, socio - political organizations, social organizations and prominent individuals of classes, social strata, ethnicities, religions and the Vietnamese residing abroad.

The Vietnamese Fatherland Front is the political base of the people’s government. It represents and protects the people’s rights and legitimate interests. It rallies and promotes strength of the great national solidarity, exercises democracy, strengthens social consensus; supervises and makes social criticism; participates in strengthening the Party, State and people-to-people foreign activities, contributing to construction and defending the Fatherland” (Paragraph 1, Article 9 of the Constitution of 2013).

Supervision and social criticism is a form of power control. Unlike the power control carried out in state agencies on the basis of law, the supervision and criticism of the Fatherland Front is carried out on the basis of the opinion of the people. From the supervision, the Fatherland Front could perceive the people’s sympathy or opposition regarding the issuance and implementation of laws and policies, performance efficiency of state agencies, quality and capability to fulfill the duties of state employees and key officials of state agencies, etc. On this basis, there will be proposals for solutions to the Party and State. These recommendations should be quantified (how many people agree, and how many of them oppose the issuance and implementation of laws and policies; how many people trust and how many of them distrust state cadres, officials and employees, etc). Unlike the reflection of opinions of voters (which is implemented through activities of delegates of the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels in the form of representative democracy), the Fatherland Front implements immediate criticism through the opinion of the people which, in a certain sense, is also using power for controlling power. If the people’s official opinions are legitimate and justifiable and, moreover, are accepted and resolved, they will create consensus in society, limiting social conflicts. And if these official opinions are not so legitimate and justifiable, there will be consultative discussions for them to reach consensus.

Control of state power from outside of the state is also reflected in the position and operations of the mass media which has become an important mechanism for controlling state power. The mass media provides analyses, comments and evaluations on rationality or irrationality of policies and laws, on the results in implementation, and on the defects to be adjusted. Mass media clearly defines the corrupted actions of cadres, officials and public servants, defines the protection and reward between groups of officials and business groups leading to biases in promulgation and implementation of policies, violation or non-implementation of the main power of the people, leading to wrong convictions of trial courts. If doing so, mass media will be really a sharp weapon in controlling power and limiting degradation of state power.

In pluralist politics, parties compete through elections. The winning party will become the ruling party. After a term of office, the competition is continued once again through elections for choosing the ruling party of the next term of office. If the ruling party has right and effective policies, they can be further selected as the ruling party. This is also a form, an institution for controlling power, forcing the parties to review themselves and always perfect policies and operation methods to become the ruling party and to continuously be the ruling party.

The ruling authority of CPV has been stated in the Constitution as “the Party rules the state and society.” People’s control towards leadership and ruling of the Party is necessary. Through the Fatherland Front and the organizations of the people, the means of mass media may (periodically, or especially on the eve of the National Party Congresses) request comments of the whole people on the Party’s policies and lines and decisions, on the basis of which to define strategic lines and solutions. A political party which really is for the people will never be concerned and worried about the people’s appreciation. The reception and adjustment on the basis of the appreciation of the people would limit the deterioration of the ruling party.

On the other hand, it is also necessary to perfect the self-control institution inside the Party organization. First of all, each Party member must cultivate and train himself pursuant to Ho Chi Minh’s ideology. Perfection of regulations is aimed at effectively implementing criticism and self-criticism inside the Party. Perfection of the institutions for assessing, planning, training and appointing the cadre staff is aimed at overcoming opportunistic tendencies and the buying of positions and authority. Perfection of the process of issuing political decisions is aimed at limiting the tendency that resolutions are too many, but their implementation is not adequate. Perfection of elections is aimed at ensuring the principle of democratic centralism in the Party. In particular, the role of the Inspection and Discipline Commission of the Party must be strengthened. This commission must have a greater role, position, and competence to manage to check from the highest level to the lowest level in the Party.


Prof., Dr. Luu Van Sung


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