President Ho Chi Minh witnessed the representative of the National Salvation Former Soldiers’ Association take an oath to support the Government in a ceremony at the Grand Theatre in Hanoi.
|President Ho Chi Minh with Hanoi students who visited him in May 1959 (File photo)|
The same day he attended a Government Council meeting to discuss financial regulations related to the Hai Phong-Yunnan railway, and to consider an election regulation for Cambodians who had acquired Vietnamese citizenship.
The President also announced a letter to Nguyen Hai Than and Vu Hong Khanh, in which he called on them to show solidarity. He put forward the following notice: “(a) Vietnam Nationalist Party members are kindly invited to join the general election to be held at many locations; (b) Please let us know where your candidates will run for the election so that we can complete the electoral files; and (c) Your candidates are as free to run for the election as members of other parties. We will be in charge of protecting and supporting those candidates; (d) From now until the National Assembly election day, the two sides should comply with the agreement signed on November 24, that is to say, not to criticize each other, both in speech and action.”
The letter demonstrated the good will of the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam), but the Vietnam Nationalist Party, backed by the Chinese Nationalist Party, did not agree to join hands with the Viet Minh in the election. As a result, 72 Vietnam Nationalist Party members were “invited” to the NA without taking part in the election.
In “Fighting for Justice” in Cuu Quoc (National Salvation), the President said: “Obviously, the French troops have stubbornly launched attacks on us, breaking the agreement between the two sides. Our fighting in self-defense has been closely watched by the people, but some of them cannot help but be puzzled. Therefore, let us consider what the future situation will be like in terms of military strategy”.
He concluded that “a defensive strategy is suitable for driving the enemy away,” adding, “Besides collective harmony, we also have a ‘providential opportunity’ and territorial advantages. From far-away places to high mountains and deep jungles, everything belongs to the country of Vietnam, and Vietnamese living everywhere in the country… Having all three factors, the Vietnamese nation will surely achieve success in the resistance war.”
The President and the Politburo approved the High Command’s military operation plan and decided to launch the Dien Bien Phu Campaign.
He told General Vo Nguyen Giap, the commander-in-chief of the campaign that “this campaign is of great importance, both in military and political aspects, and both domestically and internationally. Therefore, all the Party, army, and people, must endeavor to make the campaign a success.”
In “Puppet National Congress” published in Nhan Dan (The People) the same day, the President pointed out the French colonialists’ “trick” in allowing the Bao Dai (The last king of Vietnamese feudal regimes who was overthrown in 1945 during the August Revolution) to organize such a congress.
The article concluded: “It is our National Assembly that is the only legislature that brings rights and interests to the people.”
Speaking at a conference held for senior officials to look into the Resolution of the 14th Conference of the Party's Central Executive Committee, the President said: “We must make our people’s thinking change more vigorously so that we can make the best use of our advantages and overcome difficulties, thereby fulfilling the three-year plan of the State and create a good premise for long-term plans in the future.
By Duong Trung Quoc* and his assistants
*The author is a historian and member of the National Assembly