THE MODEL STATUTES

FOR A COMMUNIST
PARTY DRAFTED BY THE ORGANIZATION DEPARTMENT OF THE ECCI


Inprekorr, v, 17, p. 212, 29 January 1925

EXTRACTS

 



I.

THE NAME OF THE PARTY

 

1.

 

The Communist Party is a section of the Communist International and is called: Communist Party of ---------, section of the Communist International.

 

 

II.

PARTY MEMBERSHIP


2.

 

Membership is open to those who accept the programme and statutes of the Communist International and the Communist Party. The membership of a primary unit of the party consists of those who take an active part in its work, submit to all
decisions of the Comintern and the party, and pay their membership dues regularly.

3. Acceptance of new members is effected through the party cell, and must be
confirmed by the area or district committee. . . .
III. PARTY STRUCTURE
6. Like all sections of the Comintern, the -------------------- Communist Party is
built up on the basis of democratic centralism. Its chief principles are:
(a) Party organs, both lower and higher, are elected at aggregate meetings of the
party membership, at conferences, and at congresses.
(b) Periodical reporting by party organs to their electors.
(c) Binding recognition of the decisions of higher party organs by lower; strict
party discipline, and prompt and precise execution of decisions of the ECCI and
leading party organs. . . . Party questions shall be discussed by the membership only
until the question is decided by the appropriate party organ. When a decision has
been taken by a Comintern congress, a party congress, or a leading party organ, it
must be unconditionally carried out, even when part of the membership or some
local organizations do not agree with the decision.
7. In conditions of illegality it is permissible for higher party organs to decide
the composition of the lower, as well as to co-opt members, subject to ratification by
higher organs.
8. On local questions party organizations are autonomous, within the framework
of Comintern and party decisions.
9. The highest instance of any party organization is the aggregate-membership
meeting of that organization, the conference, or the congress.
10. The aggregate meeting, conference, or congress elects the leadership, which
serves as the leading organ between such meetings and carries out the current work
of the organization.
11. The outline structure of the party is as follows:
(a) For the entire national territory: party congress—central committee.
(b) For the territory of a district: district conference—district committee.
(c) For the territory of a sub-district: sub-district conference—sub-district
committee.
(d) For the territory of part of a town: area conference—area committee.
(e) For a small town, village, etc.: local-cell conference (village-cell conference)
or local aggregate (village aggregate)—local committee.
(f) For individual factories, offices, shops, estates, streets, etc.: cell meeting—cell
committee.
12. To carry out special party tasks, party committees set up special departments,
e.g. for organization, agitation, propaganda, trade unions,
174 THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
women, etc. These departments are subordinate to the party committee and work on
its instructions. . . .
IV. THE CELL
13. The primary organization of the party, its foundation, is the factory cell (in
factory, mine, workshop, office, etc.), to which all party members working at that
place must belong.... It must have at least three members.
14. In factories in which there are only one or two party members, they shall be
attached to the nearest factory cell. . . . Note: Party members who do not work in a
factory, etc. shall, as a rule, be attached to factory cells in their neighbourhood;
otherwise they form street cells.
15. The cell is the organization which connects the party with the workers and
small peasants. The functions of the cell are to carry out party work among the nonparty
working masses by means of systematic communist agitation and propaganda:
to recruit new members, distribute party literature, issue a factory newspaper,
conduct cultural and educational work among the party members and workers in the
factory, to work persistently and uninterruptedly to win all official positions in the
factory, to intervene in all industrial conflicts and demands by the employees, to
explain them from the standpoint of the revolutionary class struggle, to win the
leadership in all struggles of the employees by persistent and unflagging work.
16. To conduct its current work the cell elects a committee, consisting of three to
five members. . . . The committee is responsible for the work of the cell.
V. THE LOCAL GROUP
17. The local group consists of the cells in a given area. . . .
18. ... At least half of the local committee must be members of factory cells. The
committee elects a responsible secretary or chairman. The committee is responsible
for the work of the group. It is in charge of fraction work in the area.
19. As a rule a local aggregate-membership meeting is held once a month.
VI. AREA ORGANIZATION
20. The highest party instance within the town area is the area committee,
elected by the area conference. The basis of representation at the area conference is
decided by the district committee.
21. The area committee carries out the decisions of higher party bodies and
guides the entire party work of the area. It convenes an area conference at least once
a quarter. The area committee chooses an area secretary in consultation with the
district committee.
JANUARY 1925 175
22. The area conference is attended by delegates from the cells. It receives and
approves the reports of the area committee, and elects the area committee.
23. The area committee is in charge of fraction work in the area.
VII. THE SUB-DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
24. The sub-district committee ... is elected by the sub-district conference ; the
basis of representation at the conference is determined by the district committee.
25. The sub-district committee . . . guides all party work in its area. It convenes a
sub-district conference at least twice a year. The secretary is selected in consultation
with the district committee.
26. Cell delegates attend the sub-district conference, which receives and
approves the reports of the sub-district committee, and elects the sub-district
committee.
27. In the town in which the sub-district committee has its seat, party work is
conducted by the committee.
28. Fraction work in the sub-district is in the charge of the sub-district
committee.
VIII. DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
29. The highest party instance in a district is the district conference, which meets
twice a year. Extraordinary conferences may be convened by the district committee
at the request of half the party organizations in the district or of the central
committee. The district conference receives reports from the district committee and
the district audit commission, and elects the district committee and the district audit
commission.
30. The district committee is the highest party organ in the district in the period
between district conferences. It must consist in part of factory workers, and include
representatives from the chief towns of the district and other important centres. It
determines how often it shall meet in plenary session, but this shall be at least once a
month. The district committee elects a bureau to conduct current work. The number
of members on the committee and the bureau is determined by the party centre. The
district committee also elects a district secretary, subject to confirmation by the
centre. The secretary must have been a party member for at least three years.
Exceptions can be made with the consent of the centre.
31. The district conference elects an audit commission, whose function it is to
check the entire administration and finances of the district, and any district party
enterprises.
32. The district committee carries out the decisions of the central committee and
is obliged to set up special bodies to deal with various tasks
176 THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
(organization, agitation, propaganda, trade unions, work among peasants, women,
etc.). These bodies shall as a rule be in the charge of a member of the district
committee, and shall carry out their work under the direction of the district
committee. The district committee, in agreement with the CC, appoints the editorial
board of the district party paper. The district committee is in charge of all party
work within the district. It is responsible for its work to the district conference and
the CC, to which it is obliged to send written reports about its work every month.
33. The town in which the district committee has its seat has no party committee
of its own. The work is done by the district committee. . . .
IX. THE PARTY CONFERENCE
34. The party conference meets as a rule twice a year. The basis of
representation and the composition of the conference are decided by the centre. The
district representatives are chosen by the district committee. The centre may call in
individual party workers to the conference meetings, with consultative voice.
35. Decisions of party conference enter into force after ratification by the CC.
36. The party conference may elect the delegation to world congresses of the
Comintern if it is held immediately before the world congress.
X. THE PARTY CONGRESS
37. The party congress is the highest party instance and is as a rule convened
once a year by the central committee in agreement with the Executive Committee of
the Comintern. Extraordinary congresses may be convened by the CC either on its
own initiative or on the initiative of the ECCI, or at the request of at least one-half of
the total membership represented at the previous congress. An extraordinary
congress cannot, however, be held without the consent of the ECCI. The convening
of the congress, as well as its agenda, must be notified to the members at least one
month in advance. The congress will be entitled to take decisions if at least one-half
of the total membership is represented.
The basis of representation at the congress is decided either by the central
committee or by the party conference held before the congress.
38. The party congress
(a) receives the report of the CC and the central audit commission;
(b) decides questions of the party programme;
(c) takes decisions on all political, tactical, and organizational questions;
(d) elects the CC and the central audit commission, etc.
39. The party congress is composed of delegates, who must be elected by the
district conferences. In conditions of illegality the election of deleJANUARY
1925 177
gates may as an emergency measure be replaced, with the consent of the ECCI, by
the appointment of delegates by the district committee. The congress may also with
the consent of the ECCI be replaced by a party conference.
XI. THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
40. The CC is the highest party organ between party congresses. It represents the
party vis-d-vis other party institutions, sets up various party organs, guides the entire
political and organizational work, appoints the editorial board of the central organ,
which works under its guidance and control, organizes and directs those
undertakings which are of importance to the party as a whole, distributes the forces
of the party, and manages the party's finances.
The CC is in charge of the work of fractions within those organizations which
have a national character.
41. The number of members in the central committee is determined by the party
congress.
42. The CC elects from among its members a political bureau to take charge of
political work, an organization bureau to conduct the organizational work, and a
secretariat (or secretary) for current work. The CC further appoints the heads of the
different departments; these should if possible be members of the CC. (Note: para.
42 applies only to the larger parties; in smaller parties it is enough for the CC to
choose a presidium.) ...
XII. THE CENTRAL AUDIT COMMISSION
45. The party congress elects a central audit commission to take charge of the
party's finances, keep its books, and supervise all the party's business affairs.
XIII. PARTY DISCIPLINE
46. The strictest party discipline is the highest duty of all party members and all
party organizations.
Decisions of the CI, the party congress, the party centre, and all the higher party
bodies must be carried out promptly and precisely. All questions which provoke
differences of opinion may be freely discussed so long as no decision has been
reached on them.
47. A breach of party discipline involves punitive measures by the relevant party
body. In regard to organizations the following punitive measures may be employed:
reprimand; dismissal, and appointment of a provisional committee to exercise the
functions of the dismissed body until a conference is convened; dissolution of the
organization and re-registra-tion of its members. In regard to individual members
the following
178 THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
measures will be taken: party reprimand, public reprimand, dismissal from post,
expulsion for a stated period, final expulsion. . . .
49. The question of the expulsion of a member from the party is proposed by a
meeting of the party organization concerned (cell) to the party committee above it.
The decision on exclusion enters into force when ratified by the district committee.
Appeals may be made up to the highest party instance. While confirmation of
expulsion is pending, the member concerned must be withdrawn from party work.
Expulsions are as a rule to be published in the party press. . . .
XIV. PARTY FINANCES
50. The funds of a party organization are derived from members' dues, special
collections, returns on party enterprises, contributions from higher party bodies, etc.
51. Membership dues should account for not less than — per cent, of party
income. The rate of dues is decided by the party congress or party centre. . . .
52. Those members of the party who, without sufficient cause, fail to pay their
dues for three months are to be regarded as expelled from the party; the meeting of
the cell concerned is to be informed.
XV. FRACTIONS
53. In all non-party organizations of workers and peasants (trade unions, cooperatives,
educational associations, sports leagues, factory committees, committees
of the unemployed, municipal councils, parliaments, congresses, conferences, etc.)
in which there are at least two communists, a communist fraction must be organized
to increase the influence of the party, and to put communist policy into effect in the
non-party environment.
54. Fractions are the organs of the party in non-party organizations. They are not
independent bodies, but are subordinate to the appropriate party committee.
In regard to its internal affairs and to its current work, the fraction is autonomous.
Should differences arise between the fraction and the committee, the committee is
obliged to discuss the question afresh with representatives of the fraction, and to
reach a conclusion which must be unconditionally obeyed by the fraction. On appeal
by the fraction, the question is finally decided by the next higher committee.
Pending the appeal, the fraction must carry out the decision of the committee.
55. When discussing questions referring to the work of a fraction, the committee
must invite a representative of the fraction to take part, with consultative voice.
JANUARY 1 9 2 5 I79
56. Communist fractions elect their leadership; the choice must be ratified by the
relevant party committee. Fraction leaders are responsible to the committee for the
work of the fraction.
The committee is entitled to attach members to the fraction leadership. . . .
57. For all important posts in the organizations in which fractions are active,
candidates will be put forward by the fraction in agreement with the appropriate
party committee. The transfer of individual comrades from one fraction to another is
effected in the same way.
58. Every question to be decided by the body in which the fraction is working
must be discussed in advance by the fraction as a whole or by its leadership.
On every question about which the fraction has taken a decision, the members of
the fraction must, in the meeting of the organization concerned, speak and vote as
one. Disciplinary measures will be taken against any fraction member who infringes
this rule.

 

 

Comintern

III. International