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HandWiki. List of Socialist States. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 15 April 2024).
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List of Socialist States

Several past and present states have declared themselves socialist states or in the process of building socialism. The majority of self-declared socialist countries have been Marxist–Leninist or inspired by it, following the model of the Soviet Union or some form of people's or national democracy. They share a common definition of socialism and they refer to themselves as socialist states on the road to communism with a leading vanguard party structure, hence they are often called communist states. Meanwhile, the countries in the non-Marxist–Leninist category represent a wide variety of different interpretations of the term socialism and in many cases the countries do not define what they mean by it. Modern uses of the term socialism are wide in meaning and interpretation. Because a sovereign state is a different entity from the political party that rules that state at any given time, a country may be ruled by a socialist party without the country itself claiming to be socialist or the socialist party being written into the constitution. This has occurred in both one-party and multi-party political systems. In particular, there are numerous cases of social democratic and democratic socialist parties winning elections in liberal democratic states and ruling for a number of terms until a different party wins the elections. While socialist parties have won many elections around the world and most elections in the Nordic countries, many of those countries have not adopted socialism as a state ideology or written the party into the constitution. Several countries with liberal democratic constitutions mention socialism. India is a liberal democracy that has been ruled by non-socialist parties on many occasions, but its constitution makes references to socialism. Certain other countries such as Croatia, Hungary, Myanmar, and Poland have constitutions that make references to their communist and socialist past by recognizing or condemning it, but without claiming to be socialist in the present.

liberal democracy multi-party ideology

1. Overview

Self-identification is the only criterion used by the list, therefore it includes all countries that have claimed to be socialist, even if their claims are disputed. All countries that have not claimed to be socialist are excluded, even in cases where certain outside observers regarded those countries as socialist. Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China considered the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom to be a proto-communist state, although the kingdom never declared itself socialist, hence it is not included on this list.[1]

The list includes countries that assert in their constitutions that they are based on socialism, regardless of their economic or political system. It does not list countries that do not have constitutional references to socialism as socialist states, even in cases where the government is currently run by a socialist party or other left-wing (centre-left and far-left) parties. Inversely, countries that do maintain constitutional references to socialism are listed, even when those countries are ruled by non-socialist parties. The list is best understood as a list of countries that explicitly claim to be socialist and it does not reflect the actual economic systems themselves.

The following images are a combined map of all countries that declared themselves socialist states under any definition at some point in their history, including recognition by the Soviet Union, color-coded for the number of years they said they were socialist:

Map of socialist states by duration.

2. Current Socialist States

2.1. Marxist–Leninist States

Country Since Duration Form of government Party Head of party Head of state Head of government
People's Republic of China[2] 1 October 1949 73 years, 52 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of China Xi Jinping
(since 2012)
Xi Jinping
(since 2013)
Li Keqiang
(since 2013)
Republic of Cuba 1 January 1959 63 years, 325 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel
(since 2021)
Miguel Díaz-Canel
(since 2018)
Manuel Marrero Cruz
(since 2019)
Lao People's Democratic Republic 2 December 1975 46 years, 355 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Lao People's Revolutionary Party Thongloun Sisoulith
(since 2021)
Phankham Viphavanh
(since 2021)
Socialist Republic of Vietnam[3] 21 July 1954 77 years, 81 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng
(since 2011)
Nguyễn Xuân Phúc
(since 2021)
Phạm Minh Chính
(since 2021)

2.2. Non-Marxist–Leninist States

Countries with constitutional references to socialism

Country Since Duration Form of government Constitutional statement
People's Democratic Republic of Algeria 3 July 1962 60 years, 142 days Multi-party semi-presidential republic Preamble (1963): "Faithful to the program adopted by the National Council of the Algerian Revolution in Tripoli, the democratic and popular Algerian Republic will direct its activities toward the construction of the country in accordance with the principles of socialism [...]".[4]

Preamble (1996/2016): "Gathered in the national movement and later within the National Front of Liberation, the Algerian people have made great sacrifices in order to assume their collective destiny in the framework of recovered freedom and cultural identity and to build authentic people's democratic constitutional institutions. The National Front of Liberation crowned the sacrifices of the best sons of Algeria during the people's war of liberation with independence and built a modern and full sovereign State".[5]

The National Front of Liberation is a political party based on Arab socialism.[6]
Portuguese Republic 25 April 1976 45 years, 112 days Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic Preamble: "The Constituent Assembly affirms the Portuguese people's decision to defend national independence, guarantee citizens' fundamental rights, establish the basic principles of democracy, ensure the primacy of a democratic state based on the rule of law and open up a path towards a socialist society, with respect for the will of the Portuguese people and with a view to the construction of a country that is freer, more just and more fraternal."
People's Republic of Bangladesh 11 April 1971 51 years, 225 days Multi-party parliamentary republic Preamble: "Further pledging that it shall be a fundamental aim of the State to realise through the democratic process, a socialist society free from exploitation, a society in which the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedoms, equality and justice, political, economic and social, will be secured for all citizens".[7]
State of Eritrea 24 May 1991 31 years, 182 days One-party presidential republic Since 1991, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice, based on socialism and left-wing nationalism, has been the sole legal political party in Eritrea.[8]
Republic of Guinea-Bissau 24 September 1973 49 years, 59 days Multi-party semi-presidential republic Preamble: "The Popular National Assembly congratulates the PAIGC for the vanguard role it has always performed in conducting the fates of the Guinea nation, and congratulates itself for the courageous and timely decision that the Party of Amilcar Cabral took by overcoming the challenge of democratic opening, towards the construction of aplural, just and free society. The decision of the PAIGC follows in accordance with its historic tradition of acting at every moment as the repository for the deepest aspirations of our people."[9]

The PAIGC is a political party based on democratic socialism.
Co-operative Republic of Guyana 6 October 1980 42 years, 47 days Multi-party presidential republic Section 1, Article 1: "Guyana is an indivisible, secular, democratic sovereign state in the course of transition from capitalism to socialism and shall be known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana".[10]
Democratic People's Republic of Korea[11] 19 February 1992 30 years, 276 days One-party republic Preamble: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the socialist motherland of Juche, which has applied the ideas and leadership of Kim Il-sung".[12]

Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state.[13]
Republic of India 18 December 1976 45 years, 339 days Multi-party parliamentary republic Preamble: "We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens".[14][15]
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal 20 September 2015 7 years, 63 days Multi-party parliamentary republic Section 1, Article 4: "Nepal is an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive democratic, socialism-oriented federal democratic republican state".[16]
Republic of Nicaragua 18 July 1979 43 years, 127 days Dominant-party presidential republic Section 1, Article 5: "Liberty, justice, respect for the dignity of the human person, political and social pluralism, the recognition of the distinct identity of the indigenous peoples and those of African descent within the framework of a unitary and indivisible state, the recognition of different forms of property, free international cooperation and respect for the free self-determination of peoples, Christian values, socialist ideals, and practices based on solidarity, and the values and ideals of the Nicaraguan culture and identity, are the principles of the Nicaraguan nation. [...] The socialist ideals promote the common good over individual egoism, seeking to create an ever more inclusive, just and fair society, promoting an economic democracy which redistributes national wealth and eliminates exploitation among human beings".[17][18]
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic[19] 26 February 1976 46 years, 269 days One-party semi-presidential republic Section 2 Chapter 1 Article 33: "Until the complete recovery of national sovereignty, the Frente POLISARIO (Polisario Front) shall be the political framework that shall unite and mobilise politically the Sahrawis to express their aspirations and legitimate rights to self-determination and independence and to defend their national unity and complete the building of their independent Sahrawi State".[20]

The Polisario Front is a political party based on democratic socialism.
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 7 September 1978 44 years, 76 days Multi-party semi-presidential republic Preamble: "[...] to constitute Sri Lanka into a democratic socialist republic whilst ratifying the immutable republican principles of representative democracy, and assuring to all peoples freedom, equality, justice, fundamental human rights and the independence of the judiciary".[21]
United Republic of Tanzania 26 April 1964 58 years, 210 days Dominant-party semi-presidential republic Section 1, Article 3: "The United Republic is a democratic, secular and socialist state which adheres to multi-party democracy".[22]

Socialist territories with limited recognition

These are territories that have claimed independence or autonomy and have declared themselves socialist under some interpretation of the term. While these territories have created stable institutions of governance that have existed for a considerable period of the time, they are not widely recognized as states by the international community and officially belong to other sovereign states under international law.

  • Wa State (April 1989 – present)[23][24]
  • Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities (December 1994 – present)[25]
  • Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (November 2013 – present)[26]

3. Former Socialist States

3.1. Marxist–Leninist States

Country Full name From Until Duration Ruling party Constitutional statement
Afghanistan Democratic Republic of Afghanistan 27 April 1978 30 November 1987 9 years, 217 days People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan Preamble: "In the present stage, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, as the initiator and coordinator of the policy of National Reconciliation, actively carries forward together with other political, national and democratic forces".[27]

The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a Marxist–Leninist party.[28]
Republic of Afghanistan 30 November 1987 28 April 1992 4 years, 150 days
Total 27 April 1978 28 April 1992 14 years, 1 day
Albania Democratic Government of Albania 29 November 1944 11 January 1946 1 year, 43 days Party of Labour of Albania[29] Section 1, Article 1: "The People's Socialist Republic of Albania is a state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which expresses and defends the interests of all the working people".[30]
People's Republic of Albania 11 January 1946 28 December 1976 30 years, 352 days
People's Socialist Republic of Albania 28 December 1976 29 April 1991 14 years, 122 days
Republic of Albania 29 April 1991 22 March 1992 328 days
Total 29 November 1944 22 March 1992 47 years, 114 days
Angola People's Republic of Angola 11 November 1975 27 August 1992 16 years, 290 days Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola Section 1, Article 2: "All sovereignty is vested in the Angolan people. The MPLA, their legitimate representative constituted from a broad front including all patriotic forces engaged in the anti-imperialist struggle, is responsible for the political, economic, and social leadership of the nation".[31]
Belarus Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic[32] 31 July 1920 25 August 1991 71 years, 25 days Communist Party of Byelorussia Section 1, Article 1: "The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic is a socialist state expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia, the working people of all nationalities of the republic".[33]
Benin People's Republic of Benin 30 November 1975 1 March 1990 14 years, 91 days People's Revolutionary Party of Benin The Marxist–Leninist People's Revolutionary Party of Benin became the sole legal political party on 30 November 1975.[34]
Bulgaria People's Republic of Bulgaria 15 September 1946 7 December 1990 44 years, 83 days Bulgarian Communist Party Section 1, Article 1: "The People's Republic of Bulgaria is a socialist state of the working people from town and village, headed by the working class".[35]
Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea 17 April 1975 22 June 1982 7 years, 66 days Communist Party of Kampuchea Chapter 1, Article 1: "The State of Kampuchea is a State of the people, workers, peasants, and all other Kampuchean labourers.".[36]
People's Republic of Kampuchea 10 January 1979 1 May 1989 10 years, 111 days People's Revolutionary Party of Kampuchea Chapter 1, Article 1: "The Republic of Kampuchea is an independent, sovereign, territorial integrity, peace, democracy,one step towards Popular Socialist Community".[37]

Cambodia was not internationally recognized by some countries following the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.[38][39]
State of Cambodia 1 May 1989 23 October 1991 2 years, 175 days
Total 17 April 1975 23 October 1991 16 years, 189 days
Congo People's Republic of the Congo 3 January 1970 15 March 1992 22 years, 72 days Congolese Labor Party Presidential oath: "I swear allegiance to the Congolese people, to the Revolution and to the Congolese Labor Party. I shall undertake, while guided by Marxist-Leninist principles, [...] to devote all my strength to the triumph of the proletarian ideals".[40]
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovak Republic 9 June 1948 11 July 1960 12 years, 32 days Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Section 1, Article 1: "The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is a socialist state founded on the firm alliance of the workers, farmers and intelligentsia, with the working class as its head".[41]

From 1969 to 1990, Czechoslovakia consisted of two constituent republics.
Czechoslovak Socialist Republic 11 July 1960 29 March 1990 29 years, 261 days
Total 9 June 1948 29 March 1990 41 years, 293 days
Ethiopia Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia 28 June 1974 22 February 1987 12 years, 239 days Commission for Organizing the Party of the Working People of Ethiopia[42] Country declared Marxist–Leninist in 1974, with the Workers' Party of Ethiopia becoming "the formulator of the country's development process and the leading force of the state and in society" in 1987.[43]
Workers' Party of Ethiopia[44]
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 22 February 1987 27 May 1991 4 years, 94 days
Total 28 June 1974 27 May 1991 16 years, 333 days  
East Germany German Democratic Republic 7 October 1949 3 October 1990 40 years, 361 days Socialist Unity Party of Germany Section 1, Article 1: "The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of workers and peasants. It is the political organization of the working people of town and country under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party".[45]
Grenada People's Revolutionary Government 13 March 1979 25 October 1983 4 years, 226 days New Jewel Movement People's Law Number Two: "The People's Revolutionary Government, PRG, is hereby established as of Tuesday 13 March 1979, in accordance with the sovereign will of the Grenadian people, and in it shall be vested of executive and legislative power".[46]

The New Jewel Movement considered themselves a Marxist–Leninist vanguard party.[47]
Hungary Hungarian People's Republic 20 August 1949 23 October 1989 40 years, 64 days Hungarian Working People's Party[48] Section 1, Article 2: "The Hungarian People's Republic is a socialist state".[49]
Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party[50]
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea 9 September 1948 19 February 1992 43 years, 163 days Workers' Party of Korea Section 1, Article 1: "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is an independent socialist state representing the interests of all the Korean people".[51]

Currently a non-Marxist–Leninist socialist state.[52]
Mongolia Mongolian People's Republic 24 November 1924 12 February 1992 67 years, 80 days Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party Section 1, Article 2: "The Mongolian People's Republic is a state which exists and is developing in the form of people's democracy".[53]
Mozambique People's Republic of Mozambique 25 June 1975 1 December 1990 15 years, 159 days FRELIMO Section 1, Article 2: "Power belongs to the workers and peasants united and led by FRELIMO and organs of people's power".[54]
Poland Republic of Poland 28 June 1945 22 July 1952 7 years, 24 days Polish Workers' Party[55] Section 1, Article 1: "The Polish People's Republic is a socialist state".[56]
Polish United Worker's Party[57]
Polish People's Republic 22 July 1952 30 December 1989 37 years, 161 days
Total 28 June 1945 30 December 1989 44 years, 185 days  
Romania Romanian People's Republic 30 December 1947 21 August 1965 17 years, 234 days Romanian Workers' Party Section 1, Article 1: "Romania is a socialist republic".

Section 1, Article 3: "The leading force of society in the Socialist Republic of Romania is the Romanian Communist Party".[58]

Socialist Republic of Romania 21 August 1965 30 December 1989 24 years, 131 days Romanian Communist Party
Total 30 December 1947 30 December 1989 42 years, 0 days  
Soviet Union Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 7 November 1917 6 November 1991[59] 73 years, 364 days Communist Party of the Soviet Union[60] Section 1, Article 1, Chapter 2: "Bearing in mind as its fundamental problem the abolition of the exploitation of men by men, the entire abolition of the division of the people into classes, the suppression of exploiters, the establishment of a socialist society, and the victory of socialism in all lands".[61][62]

Section 1, Article 1: "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist state of the whole people, expressing the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia, the working people of all the nations and nationalities of the country".[63]

The Soviet Union consisted of fifteen republics.[64][65]
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 30 December 1922 6 March 1990[66] 67 years, 66 days
Total 7 November 1917 26 December 1991[67] 74 years, 49 days
Somalia Somali Democratic Republic 21 October 1969 26 January 1991 21 years, 97 days Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party Section 1, Article 1: "The Somali Democratic Republic is a socialist state led by the working class and is an integral part of the Arab and African entities".[68]
Tuva Tannu Tuvan People's Republic 14 August 1921 24 November 1926 5 years, 102 days Tuvan People's Revolutionary Party Chapter 1: "[...] in international affairs, the state acts under the auspices of Soviet Russia".[69]

In October 1944, the country was annexed by the Soviet Union at the request of Tuva's parliament.[69]
Tuvan People's Republic 24 November 1926 11 October 1944 17 years, 322 days
Total 14 August 1921 11 October 1944 23 years, 58 days
Ukraine Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic[70] 10 March 1919 24 August 1991 72 years, 167 days Communist Party of Ukraine Section 1, Article 1: "The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is the whole peoples state that expresses the will and interests of the workers, peasants and intellectuals, workers of the republic of all nationalities".[71]
North Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam 2 September 1945[72] 2 July 1976 30 years, 304 days Communist Party of Vietnam Section 2, Article 9: "The Democratic Republic of Vietnam is advancing step by step from people's democracy to socialism by developing and transforming the national economy along socialist lines, transforming its backward economy into a socialist economy with modern industry and agriculture and an advanced science and technology".[73]

The Indochinese Communist Party and the Workers' Party of Vietnam were the dominant parties prior to the consolidation of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
South Yemen People's Republic of South Yemen 30 November 1967 1 December 1970 3 years, 1 day National Liberation Front[74] Section 1, Article 3: "The Yemeni Socialist Party, armed with the Scientific Socialism theory, is the leader and guide of society and state".[75]
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen 1 December 1970 22 May 1990 19 years, 172 days Yemeni Socialist Party[76]
Total 30 November 1967 22 May 1990 22 years, 173 days
/Template:Country data Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Democratic Federal Yugoslavia 29 November 1943 29 November 1945 2 years, 0 days League of Communists of Yugoslavia[77] Section 1, Article 2: "The socialist system in Yugoslavia is based on relations between people acting as free and equal producers and creators, whose work serves exclusively to satisfy their personal and common needs".[78]

Yugoslavia consisted of six constituent socialist republics.[79]
Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia 29 November 1945 7 April 1963 17 years, 129 days
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 7 April 1963 27 April 1992 29 years, 20 days
Total 29 November 1943 27 April 1992 48 years, 150 days

3.2. Non-Marxist–Leninist States

Country Full name From Until Duration Constitutional statement
Burma Union of Burma 2 March 1962 3 January 1974 11 years, 307 days Chapter XVI General Provisions: "In order to overcome this deterioration and to build Socialism, the Revolutionary Council of the Union of Burma assumed responsibility as a historical mission, adopted the Burmese Way to Socialism and also formed the Burma Socialist Programme Party".[80]
Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma 3 January 1974 18 September 1988 14 years, 259 days
Total 2 March 1962 18 September 1988 26 years, 200 days
Cape Verde Republic of Cape Verde 5 July 1975 22 September 1992 17 years, 79 days Chapter 1, Article 1: "Cape Verde is a sovereign, democratic, laic, unitary, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist state".[81]

It was a one-party state ruled by the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, whose goal was the construction of a socialist society and which received support from other socialist states.[82]
Chad Republic of Chad 16 April 1962 13 April 1975 12 years, 362 days From 1962 to 1975, the African socialist Chadian Progressive Party was the sole legal political party in Chad.
Congo Republic of Congo 16 August 1963 4 September 1968 5 years, 9 days From 1963 to 1968, the socialist National Movement of the Revolution was the sole legal political party in the Republic of Congo.
Djibouti Republic of Djibouti 24 October 1981 3 October 1992 10 years, 345 days Law on National Mobilization Part 2, Article 4: "During the National Mobilization the People's Rally for Progress guarantees the formation and expression of popular consensus and the national will for economic and social transformation. It brings to the President of the Republic, guarantor of national unity, the support of its organization and the action of its activists. It ensures within it the democratic debate between the various social, cultural, economic and regional components of the national community as well as their equitable representation, their free expression and right of proposal. Its statutes must promote a broad development of internal democracy as well as broad popular support for the various institutions of the Republic".[83]

The People's Rally for Progress is a socialist party.
Egypt Republic of Egypt 18 June 1953 22 February 1958 4 years, 249 days Preamble: "The Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic, socialist state based on the alliance of the working forces of the people".[84]
United Arab Republic 22 February 1958 28 September 1961 3 years, 218 days
Arab Republic of Egypt 28 September 1961 26 March 2007 45 years, 179 days
Total 18 June 1953 26 March 2007 53 years, 281 days
Equatorial Guinea Republic of Equatorial Guinea 7 July 1970 3 August 1979 9 years, 27 days See the 1973 Equatorial Guinean constitutional referendum.

Preamble: "The United National Workers' Party of Equatorial Guinea (PUNT), draws up the general policy of the nation, and coordinates and controls it through the State organs".[85]

The United National Workers' Party was a political party based on African socialism.
Ghana Republic of Ghana 1 July 1960 24 February 1966 5 years, 238 days Part 1, Article 2: "In the confident expectation of an early surrender of sovereignty to a union of African states and territories, the people now confer on Parliament the power to provide for the surrender of the whole or any part of the sovereignty of Ghana".[86]

See the 1960 Ghanaian constitutional referendum.

Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, is mentioned in the 1960 constitution. Nkrumah and his party, the Convention People's Party, were African socialists, whose party constitution stated: "To establish a socialist state in which all men and women shall have equal opportunity and where there shall be no capital[ist] exploitation".[87]

Ghana's Seven Year Development plan included the task to "[e]mbark upon the socialist transformation of the economy through the rapid development of state and co-operative sectors".[88]
Guinea Republic of Guinea 2 October 1958 3 April 1984 25 years, 184 days From 1958 to 1984, the African socialist Democratic Party of Guinea – African Democratic Rally was the sole legal political party in Guinea.[89]
Iraq Iraqi Republic 14 July 1958 8 February 1963 4 years, 209 days From 1958 to 1963, the Iraqi Communist Party held significant power within the progressive military government of General Abd al-Karim Qasim.

See the 14 July Revolution.[90]
8 February 1963 17 July 1968 5 years, 160 days From 1963 to 1968, the Arab Socialist Union was the sole legal political party in Iraq.[91]
Iraqi Republic 17 July 1968 7 April 2005 36 years, 264 days Chapter 1, Article 1: "Its [the country's] basic objective is the realization of one Arab State and the build-up of the socialist system".[92]
Total 14 July 1958 7 April 2005 46 years, 267 days
Libya Libyan Arab Republic 1 September 1969 2 March 1977 7 years, 182 days Section 1, Article 6: "The aim of the state is the realization of socialism through the application of social justice which forbids any form of exploitation".[93]
Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 2 March 1977 15 April 1986 9 years, 44 days
Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya 15 April 1986 23 October 2011 25 years, 191 days
Total 1 September 1969 23 October 2011 42 years, 52 days
Madagascar Democratic Republic of Madagascar 30 December 1975 12 September 1992 16 years, 257 days See the 1975 Malagasy constitutional referendum.[94]
Mali Republic of Mali 20 June 1960 26 March 1991 30 years, 251 days From 1960 to 1968, the African socialist Sudanese Union – African Democratic Rally was the sole legal political party in Mali.

The 1974 Malian constitution provided for a one-party system which was ruled by the socialist Democratic Union of the Malian People.[95]
Mauritania Islamic Republic of Mauritania 25 December 1961 10 July 1978 16 years, 197 days Chapter 1, Article 9: "The popular will is expressed through the democratically organized State Party. The Mauritanian People's Party, born from the merger of the national parties existing on December 25, 1961, is recognized as the only party of the State".[96]

The Mauritanian People's Party was a political party based on Islamic socialism.
Senegal Republic of Senegal 20 August 1960 24 April 1981 20 years, 247 days From 1960 to 1975, the African socialist Senegalese Progressive Union (UPS) was the sole legal political party in Senegal and until 1981 there were only three parties allowed a socialist party (UPS), a liberal party and a communist party.[97]
Seychelles Republic of Seychelles 5 June 1977 27 December 1991 14 years, 205 days Preamble: "Seychelles is declared to be a sovereign socialist republic".[98]
Sierra Leone Republic of Sierra Leone 12 July 1978 1 October 1991 13 years, 81 days Chapter X, Article 176: "The All People's Congress established and in being immediately prior to the commencement of this Constitution shall continue in being thereafter and be deemed to be the One Party officially recognised in Sierra Leone".[99]

The All People's Congress is a political party based on African socialism.
Sudan Democratic Republic of the Sudan 25 May 1969 10 October 1985 16 years, 138 days Preamble: "In the belief of our pursuit of freedom, socialism and democracy to achieve the society of sufficiency, justice and equality".[100]
Syria Syrian Arab Republic 8 March 1963 27 February 2012 48 years, 356 days Section 1, Article 8: "The leading party in the society and the state is the Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party. It leads a patriotic and progressive front seeking to unify the resources of the people's masses and place them at the service of the Arab nation's goals".[101]
Tunisia Republic of Tunisia 22 October 1964 27 February 1988 23 years, 128 days From 1964 to 1988, the Socialist Destourian Party was the sole legal political party in Tunisia.[102]
Zambia Republic of Zambia 25 August 1973 24 August 1991 17 years, 364 days Section 1, Article 4: "There shall be one and only one political party or organization in Zambia, namely, the United National Independence Party".[103]

The United National Independence Party is a political party based on African socialism.

3.3. Ephemeral Socialist States

These are short-lived political entities that emerged during wars, revolutions, or unrest and declared themselves socialist under some interpretation of the term, but which did not survive long enough to create a stable government or achieve international recognition.

  • Paris Commune (18 March 1871 – 28 May 1871)
  • Republic of Guria (May 1902 – 10 January 1906)
  • Strandzha Commune (18 August 1903 – 8 September 1903)
  • Ukrainian People's Republic (1917–1921)
  • Template:Country data Crimea Crimean People's Republic (1917–1918)
  • Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders of Naissaar (December 1917 – February 1918)
  • Template:Country data Belarusian People's Republic (1918–1919)
  • West Ukrainian People's Republic (1918–1919)
  • Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic (28 January 1918 – 29 April 1918)
  • Odessa Soviet Republic (31 January 1918 – 13 March 1918)
  • Donetsk–Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic (12 February 1918 – May 1918)
  • Baku Commune (13 April 1918 - 25 July 1918)
  • Democratic Republic of Georgia (May 1918 – February 1921)
  • People's State of Bavaria (8 November 1918 – 6 April 1919)
  • Alsace Soviet Republic (9 November 1918 – 22 November 1918)
  • Soldiers' Council of Strasbourg (9 November 1918 – 22 November 1918)
  • Free Socialist Republic of Germany (9 November 1918 – 11 August 1919)
  • Mainz Workers' and Soldiers' Council (9 November 1918 – 9 December 1918)
  • Alsace-Lorraine Soviet Republic (10 November 1918 – 22 November 1918)
  • Commune of the Working People of Estonia (29 November 1918 – 5 June 1919)
  • Saxon Soviet Republic (November 1918 – March 1919)
  • Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic (17 December 1918 – 13 January 1920)
  • Hungarian People's Republic (16 November 1918 – 21 March 1919)
  • Free Territory (27 November 1918 – 28 August 1921)
  • Würzburg Soviet Republic (1919)
  • Bremen Soviet Republic (10 January 1919 – 4 February 1919)
  • Lithuanian–Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (27 February 1919 – 25 August 1919)
  • Republic of Councils in Hungary (21 March 1919 – 6 August 1919)
  • Mughan Soviet Republic (March 1919 – June 1919)
  • Bavarian Soviet Republic (6 April 1919 – 3 May 1919)
  • Monaghan Soviet (1919)
  • Limerick Soviet (1919)
  • Knocklong Soviet (1919)
  • Waterford Soviet (1920)
  • Bruree Soviet (1921)
  • Cork Harbour Soviet (1921)
  • Crimean Socialist Soviet Republic (28 April 1919 – 26 June 1919)
  • Bessarabian Soviet Socialist Republic (May 1919 – September 1919; 15 September 1924 – 18 September 1924)
  • Slovak Soviet Republic (16 June 1919 – 7 July 1919)
  • People's Republic of Mongolia (1921–1924)
  • Persian Socialist Soviet Republic (9 June 1920 – September 1921)
  • Galician Soviet Socialist Republic (8 July 1920 – 21 September 1920)
  • Hunan Soviet (September 1927 – October 1927)
  • Guangzhou Commune (Guangzhou Soviet) (11 December 1927 – 13 December 1927)
  • Soviet Zone (1927–1937)
  • Korean People's Association in Manchuria (1929–1931)
  • Nghệ-Tĩnh Soviet (1930–1931)
  • Jiangxi–Fujian Soviet (1931–1934)
  • Chinese Soviet Republic (7 November 1931 – 22 September 1937)
  • Socialist Republic of Chile (4 June 1932 – 2 October 1932)
  • People's Revolutionary Government of the Republic of China (22 November 1933 – 13 January 1934)
  • Xinjiang Clique (1934–1941)
  • Asturian Socialist Republic (October 1934)
  • Regional Defence Council of Aragon (1936–1937)
  • Anarchist Aragon (1936–1939)
  • Revolutionary Catalonia (1936–1939)
  • Shaan-Gan-Ning Border Region (1937–1946)
  • Finnish Democratic Republic (December 1939 – March 1940)
  • Political Committee of National Liberation (10 March 1944 – 9 October 1944)
  • Inner Mongolian People's Republic (9 September 1945 – 6 November 1945)
  • People's Republic of Korea (1945–1946)
  • Soviet Civil Administration (1945–1949)
  • Liberated Zone (1946–1949)
  • Azerbaijan People's Government (November 1945 – December 1946)
  • Republic of Mahabad (22 January 1946 – 15 December 1946)
  • Provisional People's Committee for North Korea (1946–1947)
  • People's Committee of North Korea (1947–1948)
  • Provisional Democratic Government of North Greece (1947–1949)
  • Marquetalia Republic (1948–1958)
  • Second East Turkestan Republic (12 November 1949 – 20 December 1949)
  • People's Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba (1964)
  • Republic of South Vietnam (8 June 1969 – 2 June 1976)
  • People's Provisional Government of Vanuatu (1977–1978)
  • People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea (1979–1984)
  • Junta of National Reconstruction (18 July 1979 – 10 January 1985)
  • National Revolutionary Council of Gambia (30 July 1981 – 5 August 1981)
  • Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (22 June 1982 – 24 September 1993)
  • National Council for the Revolution (1984–1987)
  • Republic of Kuwait (4 August 1990 – 28 August 1990)
  • Democratic Republic of Yemen (21 May 1994 – 7 July 1994)
  • Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia (11 July 1994 – 22 June 1998)

4. States with Governing Communist or Socialist Parties

There are multiple states with communist or socialist parties leading the government, sometimes together. Such states are not considered to be communist or socialist states because the countries themselves do not provide a constitutional role for their ruling socialist/communist parties or deemed socialism a state ideology. This does not include socialist parties following social democracy which governed most of the Western world as part of the mainstream centre-left and refers to democratic socialist parties positioned to their left.

Country Party Electoral coalition Election Lower house Upper house Official ideology
Algeria[104] National Liberation Front 2021
98 / 407
59 / 144
Arab socialism
Angola[105] People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola 2017
150 / 220
Democratic socialism
Argentina Kolina Frente de Todos 2019
119 / 257
41 / 72
Victory Party
Somos Socialist feminism
Proyecto Sur Eco-socialism
Popular Unity Socialism of the 21st century
Communist Party of Argentina Communism
Communist Party (Extraordinary Congress)
Revolutionary Communist Party
Intransigent Party Democratic socialism
Patria Grande Front Socialism of the 21st century
Evita Movement Kirchnerism
Bangladesh[104] Awami League Grand Alliance 2018
293 / 350
Workers Party of Bangladesh Marxism–Leninism
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Socialism
Barbados Barbados Labour Party 2018
30 / 30
11 / 21
Democratic socialism
Bolivia Movement for Socialism 2020
75 / 130
21 / 36
Socialism of the 21st century
Congo[105] Congolese Party of Labour 2017
90 / 151
Democratic socialism
Djibouti[106] People's Rally for Progress Union for the Presidential Majority 2018
57 / 65
Democratic socialism
Guinea-Bissau[104] Movement for Democratic Alternation 2019
27 / 102
Democratic socialism
Guyana[104] People's Progressive Party PPP/C 2020
33 / 65
Democratic socialism
Mauritius Militant Socialist Movement Mauritian Alliance 2014
42 / 69
Democratic socialism
Muvman Liberater
Rodrigues People's Organisation
Mexico MORENA Juntos Hacemos Historia 2021
235 / 500
70 / 128
Labor Party Democratic socialism
Moldova[108] Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova 2019
35 / 101
Democratic socialism
Mozambique[105] Mozambique Liberation Front 2014
144 / 250
Democratic socialism
Namibia South West African People's Organisation 2019
63 / 96
Nepal[104] Nepal Communist Party 2017
174 / 275
42 / 59
Nicaragua[104] Sandinista National Liberation Front 2016
71 / 92
Peru Free Peru 2021
37 / 130
Portugal[104] Socialist Party 2019
108 / 230
Democratic socialism
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Unity Labour Party 2020
9 / 15
Democratic socialism
South Africa African National Congress Tripartite Alliance 2019
230 / 440
Sri Lanka[104] Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Sri Lanka People's Freedom Alliance 2020
145 / 225
Democratic socialism
Eelam People's Democratic Party Left-wing nationalism
Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal Socialism
Sri Lanka Freedom Party Democratic socialism
Syria[106] Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region National Progressive Front 2020
177 / 250
Arab socialism
Syrian Communist Party (Bakdash) Marxism–Leninism
Arab Socialist Union Party Nasserism
Socialist Unionist Party
Tanzania[104] Party of the Revolution 2015
276 / 384
Democratic socialism
Venezuela United Socialist Party of Venezuela Great Patriotic Pole 2020
253 / 277
Socialism of the 21st century
Fatherland for All Libertarian Marxism
Tupamaro Communism
Movement We Are Venezuela Chavismo
People's Electoral Movement Socialism
Venezuelan Popular Unity Chavismo
Zambia[106] Patriotic Front 2016
89 / 156
Democratic socialism
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front 2018
179 / 270
Democratic socialism

Examples of previous direct communist or socialist party rule in non-socialist multi-party democracies and constitutionally socialist states include:

     Officially ruling parties in communist states
     Communist parties as ruling parties or part of a governing coalition in multi-party states
     Formerly ruling in a one-party system
     Formerly ruling in a parliamentary majority or minority government
     Formerly ruling as a coalition partner or supporter
  • Republic of San Marino (Sammarinese Communist Party, 1945–1957)
  • Union of Burma (Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League, 1948–1962)
  • Republic of India[110] (Indian National Congress, 1951–1977; 1980–1989; 1991–1996; 2004–2014)
  • Republic of Uganda (Uganda People's Congress, 1960–1971; 1980–1985)
  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Pakistan Peoples Party, 1970–1977; 1988–1990; 1993–1996; 2008–2013)
  • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor, 1975; 2002–2006; 2007; 2015–2018)
  • Republic of Senegal[106] (Socialist Party of Senegal, 1975–2000)
  • Arab Republic of Egypt[106] (National Democratic Party, 1978–2011)[110]
  • Republic of Vanuatu (Vanua'aku Pati, 1980–1994; 2009–2014)
  • Republic of Nicaragua[110] (Sandinista National Liberation Front, 1984–1990)[17]
  • People's Democratic Republic of Burkina Faso (Organization for Popular Democracy – Labour Movement and Congress for Democracy and Progress, 1987–1996; 1996–2014)
  • Republic of Tunisia[106] (Democratic Constitutional Rally, 1988–2011, Nidaa Tounes 2014–2019)
  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [111] (Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1990–1991)
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia[105] (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, 1991–2019)
  • Republic of Seychelles[106] (Seychelles People's Progressive Front, People's Party and United Seychelles, 1991–2009; 2009–2018; 2018–2020)
  • Republic of Mali[106] (Alliance for Democracy in Mali and Rally for Mali, 1992–2002; 2012–2013; 2013–2020)
  • Template:Country data Federal Republic of Yugoslavia[105] (Socialist Party of Serbia, 1992–2000)
  • Co-operative Republic of Guyana[110] (People's Progressive Party, 1992–2015)
  • Republic of Nepal (Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Nepal Communist Party, 1994–1998; 2008–2013; 2015–2017)[112]
  • Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka[110] (Sri Lanka Freedom Party, 1994–2001; 2004–2015)
  • Republic of Madagascar[106] (Association for the Rebirth of Madagascar, 1997–2002)
  • Russian Federation[108] (Communist Party of the Russian Federation, 1998–1999)[113]
  • Republic of Moldova[108] (Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, 2001–2009)
  • Federative Republic of Brazil (Workers' Party, 2002–2016)
  • Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Socialist Party of Uruguay, 2005–2010; 2015–2020 and Movement of Popular Participation 2010–2015)
  • Republic of Sierra Leone[106] (All People's Congress, 2007–2018)
  • Republic of Cyprus (Progressive Party of Working People, 2008–2013)
  • Republic of El Salvador (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, 2009–2019)
  • Republic of Suriname (National Democratic Party, 2010–2020)


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  2. The sovereignty of the People's Republic of China is disputed by the Republic of China. For more information, see Cross-Strait relations. Hong Kong and Macau are administrated by the People's Republic of China under the "One country, two systems" principle. For an overview of the principle, see "One Country, Two Systems".
  3. Previously known as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 2 September 1945 until 25 April 1976.[6] Reunified with the Republic of South Vietnam on 2 July 1976.[7][8]
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  9. Template:Cite constitution
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  11. The sovereignty of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is disputed by the South Korea . For more information, see North Korea–South Korea relations.
  12. Template:Cite constitution
  13. Although the government's official state ideology now incorporates the Juche element of Kim Il-sung's Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism policy as opposed to orthodox Marxism–Leninism, North Korea still considers itself a socialist state.[17] According to North Korea: A Country Study by Robert L. Worden, Marxism–Leninism was abandoned immediately after the start of de-Stalinisation in the Soviet Union and it has been totally replaced by Juche since at least 1974.[18]
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  19. The sovereignty of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is disputed by the Kingdom of Morocco. For more information, see the International recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
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  29. Known as the Albanian Communist Party until 1948.
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  32. Part of the Soviet Union but admitted into the United Nations as a separate entity.
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  44. From 12 September 1984.
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  47. "The Manifesto of the New Jewel Movement", The Grenada Revolution Online.
  48. Until 31 October 1956.
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  55. Until 21 December 1948.
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  61. Article I (R.S.F.R.S. Constitution)
  62. 1936 Constitution of the USSR, Part I
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  66. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ceased ruling the country on 6 March 1990, when the Congress of People’s Deputies amended Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution
  67. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ceased ruling the country on 6 March 1990 and the Soviet Union itself was dissolved on 26 December 1991.
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  70. Part of the Soviet Union, it was admitted into the United Nations as a separate entity.
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  72. 2 September 1945 is celebrated as the National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the successor to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
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  77. Known as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia until 1952.
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  88. Ghana. Planning Commission (1964). Seven-year Development Plan: A Brief Outline. Office of the Planning Commission.
  89. Thomas O'Toole, Historical Dictionary of Guinea, 1978, p. 55
  90. Hunt 2005, p. 76.
  91. Richard F. Nyrop; American University (Washington, D.C.). Foreign Area Studies (1971). Area Handbook for Iraq. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 198. 
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  104. Constitutionally a socialist state.
  105. Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state.
  106. Formerly a socialist state.
  107. "Declaración de principios de MORENA" (in es). 
  108. Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state as part of the Soviet Union.
  109. "Central America and Caribbean: Nicaragua – Government". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 
  110. Constitutionally a socialist state during this period.
  111. Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state, turned into a multi-party system.
  112. A socialist state since 2015.
  113. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation was involved in government from 1998–1999, though non-communist Boris Yeltsin held the presidency.
Subjects: Sociology
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