After the constitution of 1992, Vietnam is a unified
state socialist republic. The former popular democratic
(communist) form has been toned down, although the communist
party is still "the leading force in state and society" and
the elected bodies have been strengthened. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how VM can stand for Vietnam.
The President and the Government
The head of state, the president, is elected by and from
among the members of the National Assembly for the term of
the assembly (five years). The President appoints the
Assembly to the election, or dismissal, of the Vice
President, Prime Minister, Supreme Court Justice and
Procurator of the Supreme People's Control Body. The
President appoints and dismisses the other members of the
government and is formally also military commander. The
government is sitting as long as the assembly is sitting.
The national Assembly
The formally supreme body for the people's power is the
National Assembly. In addition to its appointing functions,
it has constitutional and legislative functions and
oversight of all governmental activities. The Assembly has
498 members, elected in the general election for five years.
The candidates still come mainly from the Communist Party,
but independent candidates are also allowed to stand for
The role of the Communist Party has been reduced, in
particular the Politburo (15 members) and the Central
Committee (161 members), while the Secretary-General of the
party, together with the President and the Prime Minister,
constitute the supreme power troika in the country.
Administratively, Vietnam is divided into eight regions
with 61 provinces and four urban areas (Hanoi, Haiphong, Da
Nang and Ho Chi Minh City). These units are further divided
into districts. At the lowest level there are villages and
neighborhoods. The local government is taken care of by
elected peoples councils, while the executive power lies in
administrative committees elected by the peoples councils.
The legislation is based on communist and French
examples. The judiciary is organized according to the
divisions of the political system, and is referred to as the
national courts. There are such courts at all levels except
at the village level. The Supreme Court and the Court of
Appeal are the supreme tribunal. The President of the Court
sits as long as the Assembly and is accountable to it. The
supreme court oversees the activities of the lower courts,
while at the same time being responsible to the peoples
councils at their levels.
Parallel to the judiciary, there is a system of people's
control bodies. These supervise the administration of
justice and are also public prosecutors. The head of the
supreme control body, the supreme prosecutor, is elected by
and is responsible to the National Assembly. It is its own
military courts and control bodies.
The first service in Vietnam is two years in the army and
in the air defense, and three years in the navy and air
defense. The army is still a key element of the Vietnamese
Communist Party. The total force figures for Vietnam's armed
forces are 482,000 active personnel (2018, IISS). In
addition, some 40,000 semi-military border guards come.
The Army has about 412,000 active personnel. Heavy
materials include 1270 tanks (850 T-54 and T-55, 350 type 59
and 70 T-62), 620 light tanks (320 type 62 and type 63, and
300 PT-76), 300 storm tanks and 1380 armored personnel
The Air Force has a workforce of 30,000 active personnel.
Materials include 73 fighter aircraft (27 Su-22, 35 Su-30
and 11 Su-27), 24 transport aircraft, 47 training aircraft
and 34 helicopters.
The Navy has a workforce of 40,000 active personnel,
including about 27,000 Marines. The fleet includes eight
tactical submarines, four frigates, six corvettes, 62 patrol
vessels, 13 minesweepers, 19 landings and 27 auxiliary
vessels. In addition, the Navy has six light transport
aircraft and 14 helicopters.
In 2018, Vietnam participated in UN operations in the
Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with four personnel and
one observer, and in South Sudan (UNMISS) with one personnel
and two observers.