List of socialist states

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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 governs 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, none of those countries has adopted socialism as a state ideology or written the party into the constitution.

Several countries with liberal democratic constitutions mention socialism. India is a democracy that has been governed by non-socialist parties on many occasions, but its constitution makes references to socialism. Certain other countries such as Hungary,[1] Myanmar,[2] and Poland[3] 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.


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.[4] 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 governed 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.

A combined map of all countries that declared themselves socialist states under any definition at some point in their history, color-coded for the number of years they said they were socialist:
  •   Over 70 years
  •   60–70 years
  •   50–60 years
  •   40–50 years
  •   30–40 years
  •   20–30 years
  •   10–20 years
  •   Under 10 years
States that had communist governments in red, states that the Soviet Union believed at one point to be moving toward socialism in orange and other socialist states in yellow. Not all of the bright red states remained Soviet allies:
  States that have or had a socialist government
  States that the Soviet Union believed to be moving toward socialism
  States with constitutional references to socialism

Current socialist states[edit]

Marxist–Leninist states[edit]

Country Since Duration Form of government Party Head of party Head of state Head of government
 People's Republic of China[nb 1] 1 October 1949 74 years, 199 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of China Xi Jinping
(since 2012)
Li Qiang
(since 2023)
 Republic of Cuba 24 February 1976[nb 2] 48 years, 53 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of Cuba Miguel Díaz-Canel
(since 2021)
Manuel Marrero Cruz
(since 2019)
 Lao People's Democratic Republic 2 December 1975 48 years, 137 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Lao People's Revolutionary Party Thongloun Sisoulith
(since 2021)
Phankham Viphavanh
(since 2021)
 Socialist Republic of Vietnam[nb 3] 2 September 1945 78 years, 228 days Unitary one-party
socialist republic
Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyễn Phú Trọng
(since 2011)
Võ Thị Ánh Xuân
(acting, since 2024)
Phạm Minh Chính
(since 2021)

Non-Marxist–Leninist states[edit]

Countries with constitutional references to socialism[edit]

Country Since Duration Form of government Constitutional statement
 People's Democratic Republic of Algeria 3 July 1962 61 years, 289 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 [...]".[8]

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".[9]

The National Front of Liberation is a political party based on Arab socialism.[10]

 People's Republic of Bangladesh 11 April 1971 53 years, 6 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".[11]
 State of Eritrea 24 May 1991 32 years, 329 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.[12]
 Republic of Guinea-Bissau 24 September 1973 50 years, 206 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 a plural, 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."[13]

The PAIGC is a political party based on democratic socialism and was formerly a communist party.

Formerly a one-party socialist republic.

 Co-operative Republic of Guyana 6 October 1980 43 years, 194 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".[14]
 Republic of India 18 December 1976 47 years, 121 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".[15][16]
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea[nb 4] 9 September 1948[nb 5] 75 years, 221 days One-party Juche[nb 6] socialist republic Chapter 1, Article 1: "The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is an independent socialist State representing the interests of all the Korean people."[17]

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a one-party republic governed by the Workers' Party of Korea – a political party based on Kimilsungism–Kimjongilism, with references to communism and Marxism–Leninism within its party rules.[18]

Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state.[nb 7]

 Portuguese Republic 25 April 1976 46 years, 63 days Multi-party 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."[21]
   Nepal 20 September 2015 8 years, 210 days Multi-party parliamentary republic Section 1, Article 4: "Nepal is an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive democratic, socialism-oriented federal democratic republican state".[22]
 Republic of Nicaragua 18 July 1979 44 years, 274 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".[23][24]
 Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka 7 September 1978 45 years, 223 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".[25]
 United Republic of Tanzania 26 April 1964 59 years, 357 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".[26]

Formerly a one-party socialist republic

Socialist territories with limited recognition[edit]

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 time, they are not widely recognized as states by the international community and officially belong to other sovereign states under international law.

Territory Since Duration Form of government Notes
Wa State 17 April 1989 38 years One-party Maoist[nb 8] socialist state Founded in 1989, Wa State is governed by the United Wa State Party, a Maoist and Wa nationalist party, reported to have good relations and a close connection with the Communist Party of China.[27]
Zapatista autonomous territory 1 January 1994 30 years, 3 months Libertarian socialist confederal semi-direct democracy Founded as the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities; the municipalities dissolved in 2023 and were restructured into the Zapatista Autonomous Government Collectives.[28] This autonomous region's governance is inspired by the neozapatista ideology of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Zapatista autonomy began with the Zapatista uprising in 1994.
Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria 19 July 2012 11 years, 8 months Libertarian socialist federated semi-direct democracy Commonly called Rojava, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria's governance is inspired by democratic confederalism.[29] Its autonomy began with the Rojava Revolution in 2012.

Former socialist states[edit]

Marxist–Leninist states[edit]

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".[30]

The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a Marxist–Leninist party.[31]
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[nb 9] 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".[32]
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".[33]
Belarus Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic[nb 10] 31 July 1920 25 August 1991[nb 11] 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".[35]
 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.[36]
 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".[37]
// Cambodia Democratic Kampuchea 17 April 1975 10 January 1979 3 years, 268 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.".[38]
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: "[Kampuchea is] a democratic state [...] gradually advancing toward socialism".[39]

Cambodia was not internationally recognized by some countries following the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.[40][41]
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".[42]
 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".[43]

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[nb 12] 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.[44]
Workers' Party of Ethiopia[nb 13]
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[nb 14] Section 1, Article 2: "The Hungarian People's Republic is a socialist state".[48]
Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party[nb 15]
 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".[49]

A non-Marxist–Leninist socialist state since 1992.[nb 16]

 Madagascar Democratic Republic of Madagascar 30 December 1975 12 September 1992 16 years, 257 days Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution Preamble: "The Malagasy people,[...] — Determined to build a State of a new type, expression of the interests of the working masses, and to build a society in conformity with the socialist principles set out in the 'Charter of the Malagasy Socialist Revolution',"[51][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]
 North Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam 2 September 1945[nb 17] 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".[55]

The Indochinese Communist Party and the Workers' Party of Vietnam were the dominant parties prior to the consolidation of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
 Poland Republic of Poland 28 June 1945 22 July 1952 7 years, 24 days Polish Workers' Party[nb 18] Section 1, Article 1: "The Polish People's Republic is a socialist state".[56]
Polish United Worker's Party[nb 19]
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".[57]

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
Russia Russia/ Soviet Union Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 7 November 1917 6 November 1991[nb 20] 73 years, 364 days Communist Party of the Soviet Union[nb 21] 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".[58][59]

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".[60]

The Soviet Union consisted of fifteen republics.[nb 22][61]
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 30 December 1922 6 March 1990[nb 23] 67 years, 66 days
Total 7 November 1917 26 December 1991[nb 24] 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".[62]
/ 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".[63]

In October 1944, the country was annexed by the Soviet Union at the request of Tuva's parliament.[63]
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[nb 10] 10 March 1919 24 August 1991[nb 25] 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".[65]
 South Yemen People's Republic of South Yemen 30 November 1967 1 December 1970 3 years, 1 day National Liberation Front[nb 26] Section 1, Article 3: "The Yemeni Socialist Party, armed with the Scientific Socialism theory, is the leader and guide of society and state".[66]
People's Democratic Republic of Yemen 1 December 1970 22 May 1990 19 years, 172 days Yemeni Socialist Party[nb 27]
Total 30 November 1967 22 May 1990 22 years, 173 days
/ Yugoslavia Democratic Federal Yugoslavia 29 November 1943 29 November 1945 2 years, 0 days League of Communists of Yugoslavia[nb 28] 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".[67]

Yugoslavia consisted of six constituent socialist republics.[68]
Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia 29 November 1945 7 April 1963 17 years, 129 days
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 7 April 1963 22 January 1990[nb 29] 26 years, 290 days
Total 29 November 1943 22 January 1990 46 years, 54 days

Non-Marxist–Leninist states[edit]

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".[69]
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".[70]

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.[71]

 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".[72]

The People's Rally for Progress is a socialist party.
 Egypt Republic of Egypt 18 June 1953 22 February 1958 4 years, 249 days Neither 1953 constitutional declaration, 1956 Egyptian Constitution[73] nor the Provisional Constitution of the United Arab Republic[74] used the word 'socialist' or 'socialism', but the sole legal parties – the Liberation Rally and the National Union – were socialist.
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 Article One of 1964 constitution of Egypt, then known as the United Arab Republic, directly mentioned socialism:

"The United Arab Republic is a democratic, socialist State based on the alliance of the working powers of the people"

Article One of the Egyptian Constitution of 1971:[75]

"The Arab Republic of Egypt is a Socialist Democratic State based on the alliance of the working forces of the people."

The 2007 Amendments removed the mentioned of Egypt as a socialist state from Article One.[76][77][78] Socialism was still mentioned in the preamble and other sections, but fully removed following the 2011 revolution.[79][80]

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".[81]

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".[82]

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".[83]

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".[84]
 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.[85]
Iraq/ 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.[86]
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.[87]
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".[88]
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".[89]
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
 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.[90]
 Mauritania Islamic Republic of Mauritania 25 December 1961 10 December 1984 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".[91]

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.[92]
 Seychelles Republic of Seychelles 5 June 1977 27 December 1991 14 years, 205 days Preamble: "Seychelles is declared to be a sovereign socialist republic".[93]
 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".[94]

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".[95]
/ 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".[96]
 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.[97]
 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".[98]

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

Ephemeral socialist states and polities[edit]

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.

Non-socialist states with governing socialist parties[edit]

There are multiple states with 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 deem socialism a state ideology. This does not include socialist parties following social democracy, which have governed most of the Western world, much of Latin America, and other regions as part of the mainstream centre-left.

Country Party Electoral coalition Election Lower house Upper house Ideology
 Angola[nb 30] People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola 2017
150 / 220
Democratic socialism
 Bolivia Movement for Socialism 2020
75 / 130
21 / 36
Socialism of the 21st century
 Brazil Workers' Party Brazil of Hope

PSOL REDE Federation

225 / 513
42 / 81
Socialism and Liberty Party Democratic socialism
Communist Party of Brazil Marxism–Leninism
 Chile Social Convergence Apruebo Dignidad

Democratic Socialism

67 / 155
18 / 50
Libertarian socialism
Humanist Action
Communist Party of Chile Marxism–Leninism
Democratic Revolution Democratic socialism
Unir Movement
Socialist Party of Chile
Commoners Autonomist Marxism
 Colombia Patriotic Union Historic Pact for Colombia 2022
28 / 188
20 / 108
Democratic socialism
Commons Marxism–Leninism
Communist Party of Colombia
 Greenland Inuit Ataqatigiit 2021
12 / 31
Democratic socialism
 Honduras Liberty and Refoundation 2021
50 / 128
Democratic socialism
 Iceland Left-Green Movement 2021
8 / 63
Democratic socialism
 Mozambique[nb 30] Mozambique Liberation Front 2014
144 / 250
Democratic socialism
 Mexico Labor Party Juntos Hacemos Historia 2021
279 / 500
78 / 128
Democratic socialism
 San Marino Party of Socialists and Democrats 2019
12 / 60
Democratic socialism
 Spain Movimiento Sumar Sumar 2023
28 / 350
7 / 266
Democratic socialism
Coalició Compromís
Chunta Aragonesista
Més per Mallorca
Communist Party of Spain Marxism–Leninism
EH Bildu EH Bildu Socialism
Sortu Socialism of the 21st century
Galician Nationalist Bloc Democratic socialism

Galician nationalism

 Syria[nb 31] Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Syria Region National Progressive Front 2020
180 / 250
Arab socialism
National Covenant Party
Democratic Socialist Unionist Party
Arab Socialist Union Party
Socialist Unionist Party
Arab Democratic Union Party
Syrian Communist Party (Bakdash) Marxism–Leninism
Syrian Communist Party (Unified)
 Venezuela United Socialist Party of Venezuela Great Patriotic Pole 2020
246 / 277
Movement We Are Venezuela
Venezuelan Popular Unity
Fatherland for All Libertarian socialism
Tupamaro Marxism–Leninism
People's Electoral Movement Democratic socialism
Authentic Renewal Organization Christian socialism

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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".
  2. ^ Cuba maintained its 1940 pre-socialist constitution, despite the rebel victory in the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959, until a new Marxist–Leninist constitution was adopted in 1976.
  3. ^ Previously known as the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 2 September 1945 until 25 April 1976.[5] Reunified with the Republic of South Vietnam on 2 July 1976.[6][7]
  4. ^ The sovereignty of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is disputed by the Republic of Korea. For more information, see North Korea–South Korea relations.
  5. ^ This date marks the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as a Marxist-Leninist state. In 1992, the state constitution replaced all references to Marxism-Leninism with mentions of the Juche ideology, though the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has remained a socialist state since 1948.
  6. ^ While Juche is generally considered a variety of Marxism–Leninism, there are key differences between the ideologies. For more information see, the development of Juche.
  7. ^ 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, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea still considers itself a socialist state.[19] 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.[20]
  8. ^ While Maoism is generally considered a variety of Marxism–Leninism, there are key differences between the ideologies. For more information see, Maoism's differences from Marxism.
  9. ^ Known as the Albanian Communist Party until 1948.
  10. ^ a b Part of the Soviet Union but admitted into the United Nations as a separate entity.
  11. ^ The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic proclaimed its "political and economic independence" from the Soviet Union on 25 August 1991.[34] The Soviet Union itself was dissolved on 26 December 1991.
  12. ^ Until 12 September 1984.
  13. ^ From 12 September 1984.
  14. ^ Until 31 October 1956.
  15. ^ From 1 November 1956.
  16. ^ In 1992, all references to Marxism–Leninism in the constitution were dropped and replaced with Juche, a socialist ideology described by critics as quasi-religious, ultranationalist, and revisionist.[50]
  17. ^ 2 September 1945 is celebrated as the National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the successor to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
  18. ^ Until 21 December 1948.
  19. ^ From 21 December 1948.
  20. ^ The Communist Party of the Soviet Union ceased operations in Russian territory on 6 November 1991 with the Soviet Union itself being dissolved on 26 December 1991. However, the 1978 Russian Constitution with amendments remained in effect until its final abolition on 12 December 1993 when it was replaced with the current constitution.
  21. ^ Known as the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks) until March 1918, the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) until December 1925 and the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) until October 1952. In 1990, CPSU branches in the Russian SFSR regions formed the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
  22. ^ The annexation of the Baltic republics in 1940 is considered an illegal occupation by the current Baltic governments and by a number of Western entities, including the United States and the European Union, who assert that the states were independent countries occupied by the Soviet Union. According to Article 76 of the Constitution of the Soviet Union, the Baltic republics were officially sovereign entities in a federation. However, the Soviet Union was heavily centralized and was de facto a single federal state.
  23. ^ 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. The Soviet Union itself was dissolved on 26 December 1991.
  24. ^ 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 and provided a pathway to a multi-party system. However, the Soviet Union would remain constitutionally committed to socialism until it was dissolved on 26 December 1991.
  25. ^ On 24 August 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic declared independence from the Soviet Union and renamed the country to Ukraine.[64] The Soviet Union itself was dissolved on 26 December 1991. Afterward the 1978 socialist constitution, with some amendments remained in force until 28 June 1996, when it was replaced with the present day Constitution of Ukraine. The newly splintered Communist Party of Ukraine would remain in power until 2002.
  26. ^ Until 1978.
  27. ^ From 1978.
  28. ^ Known as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia until 1952.
  29. ^ Date when the League of Communists of Yugoslavia dissolved. Yugoslavia itself collapsed on 27 April 1992 amid tensions during the Yugoslav Wars.
  30. ^ a b c d Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Formerly a socialist state.
  32. ^ Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state, turned into a multi-party system.
  33. ^ A socialist state since 2015.
  34. ^ a b Formerly a Marxist–Leninist state as part of the Soviet Union.
  35. ^ The Communist Party of the Russian Federation was involved in government from 1998–1999, though non-communist Boris Yeltsin held the presidency.


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  33. ^ "Article 1, Section 1". Constitution of the People's Republic of Angola. 1976.
  34. ^ ПОСТАНОВЛЕНИЕ ВЕРХОВНОГО СОВЕТА БЕЛОРУССКОЙ ССР от 25 августа 1991 г. № 1019-XII «Об обеспечении политической и экономической самостоятельности Белорусской ССР»
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