On October 29, a number of Vietnamese state-run online newspapers published articles warning that the state of party members retiring or quitting their jobs are completely absent from party activities that are taking place in some Northwest mountainous provinces.
In the article, Mr. Do Truong Son, secretary of the Lao Cai City Party Committee, said: “If a comrade retires and abandons party’s activities, he/she always is an opportunist, joining the Party just for his/her personal interests only.”
Dr. Nguyen Quang A said that quitting party activities after retirement or resignation happened to many party members. He analyzed:
“It is very common for people quitting their party activities after retiring, except for those who have to do something like a street leader or something, they are still active. And most of them just quietly quit party activities. Such cases are many.
Some people are bored of the Party, leaving the Party politely. Maybe publicized, maybe not. Each person has his/her own situation. People quietly quit. There are also people who retire and cannot earn more from the party membership so they stop their membership, doing no more party activities. It is also a kind of party quitting. There are indeed many types of quitting the Party.”
In the past six years, two waves of quitting the Party have been observed. The first wave was in 2014. Those who quit the Party at that time include Vietnamese diplomats in Switzerland Dang Xuong Hung and Mr. Le Hieu Dang, Dr. Pham Chi Dung- who used to work for the Vietnamese security agency, and army Lieutenant Colonel medical doctor Dinh Duc Long.
By 2018, 14 party members announced their departure from the Communist Party of Vietnam in just 10 days after Mr. Chu Hao, former deputy minister of Science and Technology, who is aldo the director and chief editor of Knowledge Publishing House. The party’s Central Inspection Commission recommended to discipline him.
Artist Kim Chi is one of them. She officially announced her resignation of the Communist Party on November 4, 2018.
She said that she had decided to quit the Party quietly since 2013. But like Professor Mac Van Trang, she found that Chu Hao’s incident was the main reason for her move. She doesn’t want to remain a party member before she goes away. She said:
“I am very close to Le Hieu Dang. When I sat and talked with him, I said that it was probably time for us to quit the Party. Mr. Dang said that this must be carefully calculated. Soon after, Dang died. I have to fulfill my promise to him. I talked to Mr. Chu Hao and old man Nguyen Trong Vinh. I wrote a statement, but everyone advised me that I could do something if I remain at the party. I also think so, because there are good people in the Party, not everyone who is a party member is miserable.”
According to Mr. Nguyen Quang A, quitting the Party or quitting party activities is the right of Party members. If not getting involved in the party activities for three months, the person automatically is considered excluded from the Party. But because the Party likes the numbers, it does not announce exclusion in a bid to show that there are still many party members.
According to the number given at the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam in January 2016, the entire Party has more than 4.5 million members.
Dang Hung Vo, a member of the Communist Party, said that the Party’s charter allows when a member retires or is in a state of no longer active, he/she can apply for suspension. However, there are also people who ignore this procedure. He said:
“In general, when I retire or when I am no longer active, there is a legal requirement for a resignation from the party. And if anyone does not submit an application but just ignores the party’s activities, they do not comply with the regulations.
Normally, anyone who still works for society is forced to participate in the party. As for those who have retired, they can apply for a party exemption.
I also know that there are a few people who work for the World Bank and ignore the party’s affairs after retirement. They think that if they retire, they will not do anything else, so party activities are not very practical. There are also people who have retired but are still very enthusiastic about involving in local activities.”
Mr. Dang Hung Vo said that he still participates in normal party activities, but because he no longer works for the state, the contents of the activities are just popularizing the current policies and guidelines. That’s all. He further explained his party activities after he retired:
“Usually the local party unit meets once a month. During that meeting, it was usually the discussion of the Party’s undertakings and policies, the discussion of work; who does well and who does not do well; work without problems for example …
In my opinion, the party activities are about 60% the same as the government. The remaining 40% is with resolutions of the Party or guidelines and policies. Then came the year-end review, there was a part of criticism and self-criticism. When a person does not want to involve the party affairs, then stop.”
The Communist Party of Vietnam is the ruling party in Vietnam, guaranteed by Article 4 of the 1980 Constitution. The Party takes Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s Thought as a guideline for all activities.
Mr. Ho Chi Minh once affirmed: “The Party is not a place for personal promotion and interests. To join the party is to serve the people, to serve the class. Party members must become filial children of the country and the class,” and “My party is the party that leads the revolution. Besides the interests of the people of the Party, we have no other interests. Therefore, cadres and party members must wholeheartedly serve the people, must be the very loyal servants of the people.”
The public opinion said that not all party members have such an ideal as Mr. Ho Chi Minh’s preaching. They joined the Party because of many privileges with which they can corrupt. Since then, many party members were disciplined. Up to now, the City Party Committee, the Standing Committee of the HCM City Party Committee, and the Party Committees at all levels have disciplined nearly 2,850 party members in the 2015-2020 term, of which 270 people were expelled from the party.
Many high-ranking party members were disciplined or criminally prosecuted, being placed in prison. For example, Deputy Admiral Nguyen Van Tinh – a former member of the Central Party Committee, a former member of the Central Military Party Committee, former Secretary of the Party Committee, former Political Commissar of the Navy who was identified in the period from November 2005 to in January 2008 to be responsible for the head of the Party Committee for serious violations and shortcomings of the Standing Committee of the Naval Military Commission for the term 2005-2010. Mr. Nguyen Van Tinh was disciplined by the form of warning
Admiral Nguyen Van Hien – a former member of the Party Central Committee, a former member of the Central Military Party Committee, former Deputy Minister of National Defense, former Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, former Commander of the Navy Military Service has been identified committing a violation in defense land management. Mr. Nguyen Van Hien was sentenced to 4 years in prison for “irresponsibility, causing serious consequences.”
Recently, the speech of Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh has attracted more attention in public opinion.
Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh, when referring to the successful lessons of the Vietnamese court system over the past 75 years, said that first of all, he was absolutely loyal to the cause of the Party, obeying the leadership and comprehensiveness of the Party, organizing the successful implementation of the Party’s guidelines and policies; uphold the law and fully comply with the judicial principles that have been constituted.
Education Dr. Mac Van Trang commented to RFA that Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh spoke very truthfully about the Vietnamese court system under the direction of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Attorney Nguyen Van Dai emphasized that the nature of the consolidation of the Communist political system does not have three powers of separation, but the leading Party of Vietnam considers the police, procuracies, and courts to be just tools to protect the power and the interests of the Communist Party of Vietnam, not an independent justice system.
Some opinions in the public opinion expressed on social networks that the “People’s Court” should change its name to “The Court of the Communist Party of Vietnam.”
Former prisoner of conscience Nguyen Tien Trung argues that “the Communist Party of Vietnam violates the country’s Constitution and the law in depriving the people of ownership, so no court dares to judge the Party.”