CONSTITUTION AND POLITICAL SYSTEM
The current Constitution was adopted by the 8th National Assembly in 1992 and was supplemented and amended in 2001 at the 10th session of the 10th National Assembly. The 1992 Constitution inherits from and builds on previous Constitutions (1946, 1959, and 1980). The 1992 Constitution is the fundamental legal document of highest legal jurisdiction that institutionalizes basic viewpoints of the Communist Party of Viet Nam on economic and political reforms, socialist goals, socialist democracy and citizens’ freedom rights. The 1992 Constitution consists of a preamble and 7 chapters with 147 articles clearly stipulating the country’s political regime, economic, cultural, education, and science and technology systems, fundamental rights and duties of the citizens, national assembly, state president, government, people’s councils and committees, people’s court and procuracy, national flag, national emblem, national anthem, national day, capital and constitution amendment.
The 13th National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at its 6th session adopted the revised Constitution on November 28, 2013. Following is the full text of this Constitution (translated by Vietnam News Agency’s Vietnam Law and Legal Forum) (click here)
The Constitution clearly indicates that the state power is in the hand of the people. The State is of the people, by the people and for the people. The State ensures and constantly promotes the people’s right to mastery in all fields and implements the policy of equality, unity and mutual assistance among ethnic groups. The people use the state power through the National Assembly and people’s councils. These agencies are elected by the people, representing their will and aspiration.
The Constitution endows all citizens (men or women alike) with equal rights in all political, economic, cultural and social areas as well as in family affairs, the right to freedom of belief and religion, the right to follow or not to follow any religion, the right to freedom of movement and residence within Viet Nam, the right to go abroad and return home as stipulated by laws, etc.
The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is a law-governed state. The political system was established upon the birth of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and comprises the following:
The Communist Party of Viet Nam is the vanguard of the Vietnamese working class, the working people, and the whole nation; a loyal representative of the interests of the working class, the working people, and the whole nation.
People in the political system: As the maker of history, the people constitute the decisive force in the process of social evolution and make up the current political system in Viet Nam. All powers belong to the people and their powers are exercised through the State. The State regulates the society by laws under the leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam.
The State of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is the central organization and the pillar of the political system that realizes the will and power of the people, acts on behalf of the people and is accountable to the people for the management of all activities of the social life and in domestic and external affairs.
The National Assembly is the highest-level representative body of the people; the highest organ of state power of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; the National Assembly exercises three main functions: to legislate, to decide on important national issues, to exercise supreme supervision over all activities of the State
The State President is the Head of State, elected by the National Assembly from among its deputies to represent the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in domestic and foreign affairs. The President has twelve powers as provided by the Constitution, of which the most important are to declare the promulgation of the Constitution, laws and ordinances, to head the all people’s armed forces and assume the Chairmanship of the National Defence and Security Council, to recommend to the National Assembly the election, removal or dismissal of the Vice President, the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court, and Head of the People's Procuracy.
The Government is the highest body of State administration of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. The Government has the same term of office as the National Assembly. The Government administers the implementation of the State’s affairs in the fields of politics, economics, culture, society, national defense and security and foreign relations; ensures the efficiency of the State apparatus from central to grassroots levels; assures that the Constitution and laws are respected and executed; and guarantees the sustainability and improvement of the people’s material and spiritual life.
The Government consists of Prime Minister, who is a National Assembly deputy as provided by the Constitution, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and other members.
People's Courts: The Supreme People's Court, local People's Courts, Military Tribunals and the other tribunals established by law are the judicial organs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. Under special circumstances, the National Assembly may decide to set up a Special Tribunal. During trials, the Jury is equal to and independent from judges and shall only obey the law. Trials are held publicly except in cases stipulated by laws. Judgments of the People's Courts are made collectively and decided by majority.
The Supreme People's Court is the highest judicial organ of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. It supervises and directs the judicial work of local People's Courts, Military Tribunals, Special Tribunals and other tribunals, unless otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly at the establishment of such Tribunals.
People's Procuracies: The Supreme People's Procuracy oversees the enforcement of the law by Ministries, Ministerial–level organs, other Government agencies, local administration, economic entities, mass organizations, people's military organs and citizens. It exercises the right to prosecution, ensures serious and uniform implementation of the law. Local People's Procuracy and Military Procuracy oversee the execution of the law and exercise the right to prosecution as stipulated by the law.
Social-Political Organizations and People’s Associations: These are organizations representing the interests of different social communities participating into the political system with their own principles, purposes, and features. There are currently major social-political organizations in Viet Nam such as the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, Vietnamese Trade Union, Vietnamese Women’s Union, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, and Veterans Association and other professional organizations.