Party Committees of the CPSU

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Party Committees of the CPSU


executive organs that direct the ongoing work of party organizations in the periods between congresses, conferences, and general meetings.

The party committees are guided by the Program and Rules of the CPSU. They enact the policies of the party and execute the directives of the party’s higher organs. The fundamental duties of the party committees are defined by the Rules of the CPSU (see par. 42). The committees are elected by secret ballot at congresses, conferences, and general meetings of party members. To be elected, candidates must have the votes of more than one-half of the participants at the congress, conference, or meeting (see Rules of the CPSU, pars. 23 and 24). The principles of continuity of leadership and systematic renewal through nomination of new members are followed in all party committee elections.

The activities of the CPSU are directed by the Central Committee (CC), which is elected by a party congress.

The local organizations of the CPSU and their party committees are formed according to the territorial and administrative divisions of the USSR and operate on the principle of democratic centralism. The activities of CPSU republic organizations are directed by the CC’s of the Union republics. At the krai level, activities are directed by krai committees; at the oblast and autonomous-republic level, by oblast committees; at the okrug level, by okrug committees; at the city level, by city committees; and at the district level, by district committees. Party committees are formed to direct the work of primary party organizations at enterprises and institutions with more than 300 party members, and in certain cases in factories and offices with more than 100 Communists. They are also formed in cases where the primary party organization of a kolkhoz or sovkhoz has at least 50 members (see Rules of the CPSU, pars. 43, 48, and 57).

The CC’s of the Union republic Communist parties are elected to a five-year term by party congresses of the Union republics. Krai, oblast, okrug, city, and district committees are elected by conferences of the respective bodies for terms of two or three years. The party committees elect a bureau (in the case of the Communist Party of the Ukraine—a politburo) that also includes committee secretaries. All party committees create departments and sections to direct the various spheres of party activity connected with the building of communism. The CC of a Union republic, as well as krai and oblast committees, may create a secretariat to review current issues and to check on the performance of their respective organizations.

The permanent tasks of the departments, sections, and secretariats are carried out by staff workers who are paid by the party. These workers constitute the party apparatus, whose members are chosen from among the best-trained and most competent workers. The okrug, city, and district committees also have nonstaff workers. These committees form ad hoc or permanent commissions on various issues in Party work and also use other means to involve party members in the activities of the party committees (see Rules of the CPSU, par. 52). Plenums of the CC’s of the Union republics and plenums of krai and oblast committees of the CPSU are called at least once every four months; the okrug, city, and district committees meet at least once every three months.

The CC’s of the Union republics and the krai and oblast committees of the CPSU supervise the okrug, city, and district party organizations. The party organizations of the autonomous republics and those of autonomous and other oblasts in the krais and Union republics work under the direction of the krai committees and the CC’s of the Union republics. In the RSFSR, krai and oblast party organizations are directly responsible to the CC of the CPSU. The okrug, city, and district committees of the CPSU have direct supervisory responsibility for primary party organizations within their territories.

The party committees of industrial enterprises and administrative and higher educational institutions are elected for either two or three years by conferences or general meetings of the primary party organizations. A secretary and deputy secretaries are elected to carry out the ongoing work of the party committee. At the discretion of the CC of a Union republic or, in the case of the RSFSR, the CC of the CPSU, party committees of organizations with more than 1,000 Communists may be granted the rights of a raion committee of the CPSU with respect to acceptance of new members into the party, registration of members and candidate members, and scrutiny of the personal conduct of Communists.

The party committees report on their activities at party congresses, conferences, and meetings. In interim periods they regularly inform the party organizations about their work (Rules of the CPSU, par. 28).


Ustav KPSS. Moscow, 1973.
Partiinoe stroitel’stvo, 4th ed. Moscow, 1976.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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