Réunion Communist Party

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Réunion Communist Party


(RCP, Parti Communiste Réunionnais), founded in 1959 out of the Réunion Federation of the French Communist Party. It is the largest and best organized political party on Réunion Island.

The Founding Congress of the party, held May 17–18, 1959, adopted the Theses of the Réunion Communist Party, the party’s basic programmatic document, outlining the Réunion people’s path of struggle against colonial oppression and for political autonomy within the framework of an alliance with France. The Second Congress of the RCP, held Aug. 13–15, 1967, specified that the demand for autonomy meant convening a National Assembly and forming a government invested with power to decide questions affecting the island’s population. The congress also called for creating a special body to coordinate cooperation between Réunion and France. The party advocates the nationalization of the sugar industry and confiscation of the land owned by the sugar monopolies. It also supports agrarian reform and other democratic transformations.

In accordance with the decisions of the Third Congress (July 14–16, 1972), the RCP has stepped up its efforts to consolidate all the democratic forces. It has strengthened its ties with the autonomist organizations of France’s other overseas departments, as well as with French left forces, which have included in their joint program the demand that the right of self-determination be granted to the overseas departments.

The RCP cooperates closely with the trade unions belonging to the Réunion General Confederation of Labor, with the Front of Autonomist Youth, and with the Women’s Union of Réunion. It also maintains contacts with a number of socialist and Catholic organizations.

Delegations of the RCP attended the international conferences of Communist and workers’ parties held in Moscow in 1960 and 1969. The RCP approved the documents adopted by the conferences.

The party is organized on the principle of democratic centralism. The directing bodies of the RCP are the Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat. The secretary-general is P. Vergès, and the main press organ is the daily Témoignages.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.