In the course of their millennia-old history, the Vietnamese people, working diligently, creatively, and fighting courageously to build their country and defend it, have forged a tradition of unity, uprightness, perseverance and indomitableness for their nation and have created Vietnamese civilization and culture.
Starting in 1930, under the leadership of the communist Party of Vietnam formed and trained by President Ho Chi Minh, they waged a protracted revolutionary struggle full of hardships and sacrifices, resulting in the triumph of the August Revolution. On 2 September 1945, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam came into existence. In the following decades, the people of all nationalities in our country conducted an uninterrupted struggle with the world, especially the socialist countries and the neighbouring countries, achieved resounding exploits, the most outstanding ones being the historic Dien Bien Phu and Ho Chi Minh campaigns, defeated the two wars of aggression by the colonialists and the imperialists, liberated the country, reunified the motherland, and brought to completion the people's national democratic revolution. On 2 July 1976, the National Assembly of reunified Vietnam decided to change the country's name to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the country entered a period of transition to socialism, strove for national construction, and unyieldingly defended its frontiers while fulfilling its internationalist duty.
In successive periods of resistance war and national construction, our country adopted the 1946, 1959, and 1980 Constitutions.
Starting in 1986, a comprehensive national renewal advocated by the 6th congress of the Communist party of Vietnam has achieved very important initial results. The National Assembly has decided to revise the 1980 Constitution in response to the requirements of the new situation and tasks.
This Constitution establishes our political regime, economic system, social and cultural institutions; it deals with our national defence and security, the fundamental rights and duties of the citizen, the structure and principles regarding the organization and activity of State organs ; it institutionlizes the relationship between the Party as leader, the people as master, and the State as administrator.
In the light of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh's thought, carrying into effect the Programme of national construction in the period of transition to socialism, the Vietnamese peoples vow to unite millions as one, uphold the spirit of selt-reliance in building the country, carry out a foreign policy of independence, sovereignty, peace, friendship and co-operation with all nations, strictly abide by the Constitution, and win ever greater successes in their effort to renovate, build and defend their motherland.
Chapter I THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM THE POLITICAL REGIMEARTICLE 1:
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an independent and sovereign country enjoying unity and territorial integrity, including its mainland, island, territorial waters and air space.ARTICLE 2:
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a State of the people, from the people, for the people. All State power belong to the people and is based on an alliance between the working class, the peasantry, and the intelligentsia.ARTICLE 3:
The State guarantees and unceasingly promotes the people's mastery in all fields, and severely punishes all acts violating the interests of the motherland and the people ; it strives to build a rich and strong country in which social justice prevails, all men have enough to eat and to wear, enjoy freedom, happiness and all necessary conditions for complete development.ARTICLE 4:
The Communist Party of Vietnam, the vanguard of the Vietnamese working class, the faithful representative of the rights and interests of the working class, the toiling people, and the whole nation, acting upon the Marxist- Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh's thought, is the force leading the State and society.
All Party organizations operate within the framework of the Constitution and the law.ARTICLE 5:
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the unified State of all nationalities living on the territory of Vietnam.
The State carries out a policy of equality, solidarity and mutual assistance among all nationalities, and forbids all acts of national discrimination and division.
Every nationality has the right to use its own language and system of writing, to preserve its national identity, and to promote its fine customs, habits, traditions and culture.
The State carries out a policy of comprehensive development and gradually raises the material and spiritual living conditions of the national minorities.ARTICLE 6:
The people make use of State through the agency of the National Assembly and the People's Councils, which represent the will and aspirations of the people, are elected by them and responsible to them.
Democratic centralism is the principle governing the organization and activity of the National Assembly, the People's Councils, and all other State organs.ARTICLE 7:
Elections to the National Assembly and the People's Councils are held in accordance with the principles of universal, equal, direct, and secret suffrage.
A member of the National Assembly shall be removed from office by the electors or the National Assembly, a member of a People's Council by the electors or the People's Council, when this member is no longer worthy of the confidence of the people.ARTICLE 8:
All Sate organs, cadres and employees must show respect for the people, devotedly serve them, maintain close links with them, listen to their opinions and submit themselves to their control; all manifestations of bureaucratism, arrogance, arbitrariness and corruption shall be vigorously opposed.ARTICLE 9:
The Vietnam Fatherland Front and its member organizations constitute the political base of people's power. The Front promotes the tradition of national solidarity, strengthens the people's unity of mind in political and spiritual matters, participates in the building and consolidation of people's power, works together with the State for the care and protection of the people's legitimate interests, encourages the people to exercise their right to mastery, ensures the strict observance of the Constitution and the law, and supervises the activity of State organs, elected representatives, and State officials and employees.
The State shall create favourable conditions for the effective functioning of the Fatherland Front and its component organizations.ARTICLE 10:
The Trade Unions, being the socio-political organization of the working class and the toiling people, joints State organs, economic and social bodies in looking after and safeguarding the rights and interests of cadres, workers, employees and other labouring people; it participates in State administration and social management, in the control and supervision of the activity of State organs and economic bodies; educates workers, employees and other labouring people to work well for national construction and defence.ARTICLE 11:
The citizen exercises his right to mastery at the grassroots by participating in State and social affairs; he is duty bound to help protect public property, legitimate civil rights and interests, maintain national security and social order, and organize public life.ARTICLE 12:
The State exercises the administration of society by means of the law; it shall unceasingly strengthen socialist legality.
All State organs, economic and social bodies, units of the people's armed forces, and all citizens must seriously observe the Constitution and the law, strive to prevent and oppose all criminal behaviour and all violations of the Constitution and the law.
All infringements of State interests, of the rights and legitimate interests of collectives and individual citizens shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.ARTICLE 13:
The Vietnamese motherland is sacred and inviolable.
All machinations and acts directed against the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the motherland, against the construction and defence of the socialist Vietnam motherland, shall be severely punished in accordance with the law.ARTICLE 14:
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam carries out a policy of peace and friendship, seeks to expand its relations and co-operation with all countries in the world regardless of political and social system on the basis of respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality, and mutual interests; it seeks to strengthen solidarity, friendship and co-operation with socialist countries and neighbouring countries; it actively supports and participates in the common struggle of the peoples of the world for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress.