The Communist Party Article 4 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam stipulates the role of the Communist Party of Vietnam as follows:
"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 which leads the State and the society. All organisations of the Party operate within the framework of the Constitution and law". In fact, since its birth in 1930, the Communist Party of Vietnam has organised and led the nation to every victory of Vietnam. In 1945, the Communist Party led the people in the August Revolution and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the Socialist Republic of Vietnam today). In 1954, after nine years of struggling against French aggression, the Party gained administrative control over half of Vietnam. From 1954 to 1975, the Communist Party led the people in the construction of the new system in the North, in the struggle against US aggression in the whole country and the liberation of the South in 1975, the unification of the country in 1976. In 1986, the Communist Party initiated and led the cause of "Doimoi" (Renovation) and since then has achieved many successes and improved the image of Vietnam. In 1996, the Communist Party initiated industrialization and modernization aimed at making Vietnam an industrialized country in the year 2020. Democratic centralism is the principle governing the organization and activity of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The supreme power is the National Congress, which meets every five years. The Assembly elects the Central Committee. The Central Committee elects the Politburo. The Politburo appoints the General Secretary. The highest position in the Party is the Party Chairman (which was held by Ho Chi Minh, but is not maintained today). General Secretary or First Secretary follows it. The first General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam was Tran Phu. Every Vietnamese citizen if voluntarily joins the Party and has all qualities that the Party requires will be admitted. However, the new Party member has to experience a time of probation, lasting for at least one year, before having the right to vote, elect and stand for election in the Party. At the time being, Vietnam Communist Party has over two millions members.