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General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam

General Secretary of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
a red flag; at the center of it there is a hammer and a sickle, a communist symbol
a smiling man with greying black hair, wearing a suit and tie
Nguyễn Phú Trọng

since 19 January 2011
Appointer Central Committee
Term length Five years
renewable once
Inaugural holder Trần Phú
Formation 27 October 1930
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (

  • Brocheux, Pierre (2007). Ho Chi Minh: a Biography. Cambridge University Press.  
  • Corfield, Justin (2008). The History of Vietnam. ABC-CLIO.  
  • Currey, Cecil (2005). Victory At Any Cost: The Genius of Vietnam's Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap. Potomac Books.  
  • Koh, David (July–August 2008). "Leadership Changes at the 10th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party".  
  • Largo, V. (2002). Vietnam: Current Issues and Historical Background. Nova Publishers.  
  • Mason, Michael G.; Mason, Mike (1997). Development and Disorder: A History of the Third World Since 1945. University Press of New England.  
  • Ooi, Keat Gin (2004). Southeast Asia: a Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor 2. ABC-CLIO.  
  • Quinn-Judge, Sophie (2002). Ho Chi Minh: The Missing Years, 1919–1941. University of California Press.  
  • Van, Canh Nguyen; Cooper, Earle (1983). Vietnam under Communism, 1975–1982. Hoover Press.  
  • Woods, L. Shelton (2002). Vietnam: a Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO.  
  • Thai, Quang Trung (2002). Collective Leadership and Factionalism: an Essay on Ho Chi Minh's Legacy.  


  1. ^ Porter 1993, pp. 83–84.
  2. ^ a b "Party Congress announces CPVCC Politburo members".  
  3. ^ a b c Van & Cooper 1983, p. 69.
  4. ^ a b Abuza, Zachary (16 November 2001). "The Lessons of Le Kha Phieu: Changing Rules in Vietnamese politics". Vietnamese Professionals of America.  
  5. ^ Dodd, Lewis & Emmons 2003, p. 557.
  6. ^ Brocheux 2007, p. 60.
  7. ^ Sophie Quinn-Judge 2003, p. 225.
  8. ^ Currey 2005, p. 61.
  9. ^ Sophie Quinn-Judge 2003, pp. 1–2.
  10. ^ Thai 1985, pp. 27–29.
  11. ^ Ooi 2004, p. 777.
  12. ^ a b Brocheux 2007, p. 174.
  13. ^ Woods 2002, p. 74.
  14. ^ Corfield 2008, pp. 111–112.
  15. ^ M.G. Mason & M. Mason 1997, p. 313.
  16. ^ "March of the poor and friendless (Vietnamese Communist Party holds its 7th Congress)".  
  17. ^ Largo 2002, pp. 10–13.
  18. ^ Abuza, Zachary (16 November 2001). "The Lessons of Le Kha Phieu: Changing Rules in Vietnamese politics". Vietnamese Professionals of America.  
  19. ^ "Modernising leader for Vietnam".  
  20. ^ Koh 2008, p. 666.


  1. ^ The Politburo of the Central Committee is the highest decision-making body of the CPV and the Central Government. The membership composition, and the order of rank of the individual Politburo members is decided in an election within the newly formed Central Committee in the aftermath of a Party Congress.[3] The Central Committee can overrule the Politburo, but that doesn't happen often.[4]
  2. ^ These numbers are not official.
  3. ^ The Central Committee when it convenes for its first session after being elected by a National Party Congress elects the Politburo.[3] According to David Koh, in interviews with several high-standing Vietnamese officials, the Politburo ranking is based upon the number of approval votes given by the Central Committee. Lê Hồng Anh, the Minister of Public Security, was ranked 2nd in the 10th Politburo because he received the second-highest number of approval votes. Another example being Tô Huy Rứa of the 10th Politburo, he was ranked at the bottom because he received the lowest number of approval votes. This system was implemented at the 1st plenum of the 10th Central Committee.[20] Before the 10th Party Congress Politburo rankings functioned as the official order of precedence, but it doesn't any longer (however, there are some who disagree with this view).[3]
  4. ^ He was ranked #1 until the 1945 August Revolution led by Hồ Chí Minh.
  5. ^ He was ranked second until the death of Hồ Chí Minh, the CPV Chairman, on 2 September 1969.[12]


[note 2]
Took office Left office Rank
[note 3]
Central Committee Portrait
1 Trần Phú
27 October 1930 6 September 1931 1 Provisional Central Committee
A young man, in a suit with a pale shirt and dark tie
2 Lê Hồng Phong
27 October 1931 26 July 1936 1 1st Central Committee (1935–1951) A young man, in a suit with a pale shirt and dark tie
3 Hà Huy Tập
26 July 1936 30 March 1938 1 A young man, in a suit with a pale shirt and dark tie
4 Nguyễn Văn Cừ
30 March 1938 9 November 1940 1 A young man, in a pale shirt and dark jacket
5 Trường Chinh
May 1941 24 September 1956 1
[note 4]
1st Central Committee (1935–1951) A balding man looking to the left, dressed in a dark jascket buttoned to the neck
2 2nd Central Committee (1951–1960)
6 Hồ Chí Minh
24 September 1956 10 September 1960 1 2nd Central Committee (1951–1960) A thin-faced man with a long beard wearing traditional clothing
3rd Central Committee (1960–1976)
7 Lê Duẩn
10 September 1960 10 July 1986 2
[note 5]
A smiling man looking to the right, wearing a collarless white shirt
1 4th Central Committee (1976–1982)
5th Central Committee (1982–1986)
5 Trường Chinh
14 July 1986 18 December 1986 1 5th Central Committee (1982–1986) A bald man, wearing a collarless white shirt
8 Nguyễn Văn Linh
18 December 1986 28 June 1991 1 6th Central Committee (1986–1991)
9 Đỗ Mười
28 June 1991 26 December 1997 1 7th Central Committee (1991–1996) An old graying man wearing traditional clothing
8th Central Committee (1996–2001)
10 Lê Khả Phiêu
26 December 1997 22 April 2001 1 An old graying man wearing a brown buttoned-up jacket, and a pale green shirt
11 Nông Đức Mạnh
22 April 2001 19 January 2011 1 9th Central Committee (2001–2006) a happy-looking man with greying black hair, wearing a suit and tie
10th Central Committee (2006–2011)
12 Nguyễn Phú Trọng
19 January 2011 Incumbent 8 11th Central Committee (2011–present) a smiling man with greying black hair, wearing a suit and tie



  • Officeholders 1
  • Notes 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4

The General Secretary presides over the work of the Central Committee, the Political Bureau, the Secretariat, and chairs meetings with key leaders (Working Regulation of the Central Committee, 2011).

From 2 September 1969 until his death on 10 July 1986, Lê was the undisputed leader of Vietnam.[13] He died two months before the next National Party Congress, and was succeeded by Trường, the former general secretary who had served as the second-most powerful politician in Vietnam since Hô's death. Trường was demoted from his post at the 6th National Party Congress, and was succeeded by Nguyễn Văn Linh.[14] The Western press called Linh "Vietnam's Gorbachev" because of his reformist policies.[15] Linh resigned because of bad health in 1991, and Đỗ Mười was appointed to the general secretaryship by the 7th National Congress.[16] Mười ruled until 1997, when he was ousted from power by the reformist-wing of the party.[17] Lê Khả Phiêu was Mười's successor, and he was elected as a compromise candidate.[18] Phiêu was ousted in 2001, before the 10th National Party Congress, when the Central Committee overturned a decision of the Politburo; a majority in the Central Committee voted to remove Phiêu as general secretary.[4] Nông Đức Mạnh succeeded Phiêu, and Manh came to be considered a moderniser. Manh was also the first general secretary with a university degree.[19] Manh retired in 2011, and Nguyễn Phú Trọng succeeded him, but Trọng did not succeed Manh as dominant leader of Vietnam.[2]

Trần Phú, one of the founding members of the Indochinese Communist Party, was the party's first general secretary. A year after being elected, he was sentenced to prison by the French authorities because of anti-French activities. He died in prison the same year.[5] Trần's de facto successor was Lê Hồng Phong who led the party through the office of General Secretary of the Overseas Executive Committee (OEC). The OEC general secretary led the party because the Central Committee had been all but annihilated.[6] Hà Huy Tập, the third general secretary, was removed from his post in March 1938, and was arrested by the authorities in May.[7] Nguyễn Văn Cừ, the fourth general secretary, was arrested by the authorities in June 1940, and executed by shooting on 25 May 1941. He was succeeded by Trường Chinh in May 1941.[8] An article in Nhân Dân on 25 March 1951 described Trường's role as the "builder and commander" of the revolution, while Hô Chí Minh was referred to as "the soul of the Vietnamese revolution and the VIetnamese resistance".[9] Trường was demoted as First Secretary in 1956 because of his role in the "bloody Land Reform campaign".[10] Hô took over the office of First Secretary, but quickly appointed Lê Duẩn acting First Secretary.[11] Lê was elected general secretary in 1960, and was the second only to Hô until the latter's death on 2 September 1969.[12]

[note 1][2] (Politburo) ranking.Political Bureau, and he is ranked eighth in the Nguyễn Phú Trọng For a period in its history, the position of general secretary has been synonymous with leader of Vietnam. The current general secretary is [1]

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