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A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. Unitary states stand in contrast with federations, also known as ''federal states''. Overview In unitary states, t ...
in which only one
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology, ...
has the right to form the government, usually based on the existing constitution. All other parties are either outlawed or allowed to take only a limited and controlled participation in
election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office.vanguard of the people, and therefore its right to rule cannot be legitimately questioned. The Soviet government argued that multiple parties represented the
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
and because of this the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
legally authorized and recognized a single party leading the proletariat, namely the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
. Some one-party states only outlaw opposition parties, while allowing allied parties to exist as part of a permanent
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
such as a popular front. However, these parties are largely or completely subservient to the ruling party and must accept the ruling party's monopoly of power as a condition of their existence. Examples of this are the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
under the United Front, the National Front in former East Germany and the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea in
North Korea North Korea (Korean language, Korean: /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Chosŏn''; literally /, McCune–Reischauer, MR: ''Pukchosŏn'', or /, Revised Romanization of Korean, RR: ''Bukhan'' in South Korean usage), officially the Democrati ...
. Others may outlaw all other parties yet allow non-party members to run for legislative seats as independent, as was the case with
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main islan ...
's Tangwai movement in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the elections in the Soviet Union, elections in the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
. Still others may both outlaw all other parties and include party membership as a prerequisite for holding public office, such as in Turkmenistan under the rule of Saparmurat Niyazov or Zaire under Mobutu Sese Seko. Within their own countries, dominant parties ruling over one-party states are often referred to simply as ''the Party''. For example, in reference to the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
, ''the Party'' meant the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
; in reference to the pre-1991 Zambia, Republic of Zambia, it referred to the United National Independence Party. Most one-party states have been ruled by parties forming in one of the following three circumstances: #an ideology of Marxism–Leninism and Proletarian internationalism, international solidarity (such as the Soviet Union for most of its existence); #some type of Nationalism, nationalist or Fascism, fascist ideology (such as the Kingdom of Italy under the National Fascist Party or Germany under the Nazi Party); #parties that came to power in the wake of independence from Colonization, colonial rule. One-party systems often arise from decolonization because a single party gains an overwhelmingly dominant role in liberation or in independence struggles. One-party states are usually considered to be Authoritarianism, authoritarian, to the extent that they are occasionally Totalitarianism, totalitarian. On the other hand, not all authoritarian or totalitarian states operate upon one-party rule. Some, especially amongst Absolute monarchy, absolute monarchies and military dictatorships, have no need for a ruling party, and therefore make all political parties illegal. The term "communist state" is sometimes used in the West to describe states in which the ruling party subscribes to a form of Marxism–Leninism. However, such states may not use that term themselves, seeing communism as a phase to develop after the full maturation of socialism, and instead use descriptions such as "people's republic", "Socialist state, socialist republic", or "democratic republic". One peculiar example is Cuba where, despite the role of the Communist Party of Cuba, Communist Party being enshrined in the constitution, no party, including the Communist Party, is permitted to campaign or run candidates for Elections in Cuba, elections. Candidates are elected on an individual referendum basis without formal party involvement, although elected assemblies predominantly consist of members of the Communist Party alongside non-affiliated candidates.Cuba: Elections and Events 1991–2001
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Current one-party states

the following countries are legally constituted as one-party states:


Former one-party states


See also

*Ban on factions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union *Political organisation *Dominant-party system *Political factionalism *Outline of democracy *Multi-party system *Two-party system *List of political party songs


Notes


References


External links


Map of One Party States, 1945-95One-party states in Africa
BBC

{{Portal bar, Politics Authoritarianism One-party states, Political systems Political party systems