General Secretary of the Communist Party

General Secretary or First Secretary is the official title of leaders of most Communist political parties. When a Communist party is the ruling party in a Communist-led one-party state, the General Secretary is typically the country's de facto leader—though sometimes this leader also holds state-level positions (such as a presidency or premiership) in order to hold de jure leadership of the state as well. One exception to this rule is the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1990 where the chairman and then General Secretary of the Communist Party were subordinate to elder Deng Xiaoping who was the de facto Paramount leader of China.

Leaders of current communist parties

CountryOfficial titlePortraitNameTerm of officeOther names
Took officeTime in office
 ChinaDanghui.svg
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Xi Jinping in 2016.jpgXi Jinping
(born 1953)
15 November 20128 years, 353 daysChairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (1922–25 & 1943–82)
 CubaLOGO PART COM CUBANO.svg
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba
Miguel Díaz-Canel
(born 1960)
19 April 2021198 daysN/A
 CyprusGeneral Secretary of the Progressive Party of Working PeopleAndros-Kyprianou-2011.jpgAndros Kyprianou
(born 1955)
21 February 200912 years, 255 daysN/A
 FranceLogopcf13.png
National Secretary of the French Communist Party
Roussel Fabien 1.jpgFabien Roussel
(born 1969)
25 November 20182 years, 340 daysGeneral Secretary of the French Communist Party (1921–1994)
 India20pc CPIM Flag.png
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India
D.Raja M.P.JPGD. Raja
(born 1949)
21 July 20192 years, 104 daysN/A
20pc CPIM Flag.png
General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Yechuri 1.JPGSitaram Yechury
(born 1952)
19 April 20156 years, 198 daysN/A
 ItalyPartito Comunista Italiano (2016).svg
General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party
Mauro Alboresi26 June 20165 years, 130 daysN/A
 JapanFlag of JCP.svg
General Secretary of the Japanese Communist Party
Kazuo Shii in SL Square in 2017.jpg
(c) 김영준 (Kim Youngjun; @eun_gong), CC BY 2.0 kr
Kazuo Shii
(born 1954)
24 November 200020 years, 344 daysN/A
 LaosFlag of LPRP.svg
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party
Thongloun Sisoulith with Obamas cropped.jpgThongloun Sisoulith
(born 1945)
15 January 2021292 daysChairman of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (1991–2006)
 PortugalLogo Kommunistische Partei Portugals.svg
General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party
Jerónimo de Sousa.jpgJerónimo de Sousa
(born 1947)
27 November 200416 years, 341 daysN/A
 RussiaКПРФ Logo.svg
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Gennady Zyuganov
(born 1944)
14 February 199328 years, 262 daysN/A
 SpainPce 2014.svg
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Spain
(Enrique Santiago) (1 de mayo de 2018) IMG 0416 (41134553744) (cropped).jpgEnrique Santiago
(born 1964)
8 April 20183 years, 209 daysN/A
 United KingdomGeneral Secretary of the Communist Party of BritainRobert Griffiths, Britain Needs Socialism, 2011.jpgRobert Griffiths
(born 1952)
1 January 199823 years, 306 daysN/A
 United StatesCPUSA.svg
General Secretary of the Communist Party USA
Rossana Cambron & Joe Sims
(as co-chairs)
23 June 20192 years, 133 daysN/A
 VietnamEmblem of Vietnam Communist Party.png
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong.jpgNguyễn Phú Trọng
(born 1944)
8 January 201110 years, 299 daysChairman of the Workers' Party of Vietnam (1951–69)
First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Vietnam (1951–76)

Leaders of former communist parties

Official titleLastTerm endOther names
Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë.svg First Secretary of the Party of Labour of AlbaniaPeople's Socialist Republic of Albania Ramiz Alia

Ramiz Alia (i ri).jpg

4 May 1991
Bandera del Partido Comunista Búlgaro.png General Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist PartyPeople's Republic of Bulgaria Petar Mladenov

Petar Mladenov 1978 (cropped).jpg

15 January 1990
Emblem of the Communist Party of Kampuchea.svg General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea Pol Pot

Pol Pot.jpg

8 December 1981
Flag of PRPB.svg General Secretary of the People's Revolutionary Party of BeninBenin Mathieu Kérékou

Mathieu Kerekou FOCR (cropped).jpg

1 March 1990
 General Secretary of the New Jewel MovementGrenada Maurice Bishop

Maurice Bishop 1982-06-11.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1982-0611-034 / Häßler, Ulrich / CC-BY-SA
19 October 1983
 General Secretary of the Workers' Party of EthiopiaEthiopia Mengistu Haile Mariam

21 May 1991
General Secretary of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist PartySomalia Siad Barre

Siad Barre.png

26 January 1991
Emblem of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan.svg General Secretary of the People's Democratic Party of AfghanistanAfghanistan Mohammad Najibullah16 April 1992
PCUS Emblema.svg General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet UnionSoviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev

RIAN archive 850809 General Secretary of the CPSU CC M. Gorbachev (crop).jpg

24 August 1991Technical Secretary of the Bolshevik Party (1917–18)
Chairman of the Secretariat of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) (1918–19)
Responsible Secretary of the RCP(b) (1919–22)
First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953–66)
Mszmp.svg General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' PartyHungarian People's Republic Károly Grósz

Grósz Károly 1986.jpg

7 October 1989
Emblem of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.svg First Secretary of the Communist Party of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovak Socialist Republic Karel Urbánek20 December 1989
POL PZPR logo.svg First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' PartyPolish People's Republic Mieczysław Rakowski

Mieczysław Rakowski.jpg

29 January 1990
Coat of arms of PCR.svg General Secretary of the Romanian Communist PartySocialist Republic of Romania Nicolae Ceaușescu

Nicolae Ceaușescu.jpg

22 December 1989
SED Logo.svg General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of GermanyEast Germany Egon Krenz

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0704-400, Egon Krenz.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1984-0704-400 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
3 December 1989
Emblem of the SKJ.svg President of the League of Communists of YugoslaviaSocialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milan Pančevski30 June 1990

See also

External links

Media files used on this page

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Flag of Portugal, created by Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (1857-1929), officially adopted by Portuguese government in June 30th 1911 (in use since about November 1910). Color shades matching the RGB values officially reccomended here. (PMS values should be used for direct ink or textile; CMYK for 4-color offset printing on paper; this is an image for screen display, RGB should be used.)
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Flag of Bulgaria (1971-1990). Flag of Bulgaria with Bulgarian coat from 1971.
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Flag of Bulgaria (1971-1990). Flag of Bulgaria with Bulgarian coat from 1971.
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Flag of Ethiopia
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Flag of Second Polish Republic and later People's Republic of Poland in period from 1928 to 1980. Red shade used here is HTML "vermilion" #E34234. Proportion 5:8.
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Flag of Romania, (21 August 1965 - 22 December 1989/officialy 27 December 1989).

Flag of Romania (1965-1989) (construction).png

Construction sheet of the Flag of Romania as depicted in Decree nr. 972 from 5 November 1968.

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  • S = 2/5 × l
Flag of Romania (1965–1989).svg

Flag of Romania, (21 August 1965 - 22 December 1989/officialy 27 December 1989).

Flag of Romania (1965-1989) (construction).png

Construction sheet of the Flag of Romania as depicted in Decree nr. 972 from 5 November 1968.

  • l = 2/3 × L
  • C = 1/3 × L
  • S = 2/5 × l
Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg
Flag of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).
The design (blazon) is defined in Article 4 of the Constitution for the Republic of Yugoslavia (1946). [1]
Coat of arms of PCR.svg
Emblem of Communist Party of Romania
Thongloun Sisoulith with Obamas cropped.jpg
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with Thongloun Sisoulith.
Emblem of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.svg
Emblem of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
Danghui.svg
Emblem of the Communist Party of China.
Kazuo Shii in SL Square in 2017.jpg
(c) 김영준 (Kim Youngjun; @eun_gong), CC BY 2.0 kr
Kazuo Shii at SL Square of Shimbashi Station, Tokyo on 8 October 2017.
Mieczysław Rakowski.jpg
Author/Creator: Dawid Skoblewski, Licence: CC BY 2.5

Mieczysław Rakowski, (Tygodnik Polityka, Warszawa, ul. Słupecka 6.

Rozdanie Nagród Historycznych Polityki 2006. Spotkanie z laureatami: Beauvois, Andrzejem Chwalbą, Mieczysławem F. Rakowskim, Herykiem Schönkerem.)
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President of the Somali Democratic Republic Siad Barre's official portrait in military uniform.
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Flag of Democratic Kampuchea
Wa State Flag 2021.png
This is the flag of Wa State, a de facto independent socialist state within the borders of Myanmar.
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Red rose
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Flag of Lao People's Revolutionary Party
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Flag of Christiania The three dots represent the three 'I's in the name "Christiania".
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Jerónimo de Sousa
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Emblem of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan
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Logo du PCF en 2013
Roussel Fabien 1.jpg
Author/Creator: Zouhair NAKARA, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Fabien Roussel, Congrès PCF, Ivry (94), 25/11/2018
Mathieu Kerekou FOCR (cropped).jpg
Author/Creator: fototeca.iiccr.ro, Licence: Attribution
Vizita în România a preşedintelui Republicii Populare Benin, Mathieu Kerekou. (21-24 iulie 1976)
Maurice Bishop 1982-06-11.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1982-0611-034 / Häßler, Ulrich / CC-BY-SA
Maurice Bishop in Niederkaina, Kreis Bautzen, am 11.6.1982.
Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë.svg

This is the logo for Party of Labour of Albania.

Partito Comunista Italiano (2016).svg
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Italian Communist Party's logo.
Gennady Zyuganov, 2013.jpeg
(c) Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0
Руководитель фракции «Коммунистическая партия Российской Федерации» в Государственной Думе, председатель Центрального комитета КПРФ Геннадий Зюганов
D.Raja M.P.JPG
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D.Raja M.P
Pol Pot.jpg
Portrait of Pol Pot
Mszmp.svg
Logo of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party from 1989 to 1993.
Emblem of Vietnam Communist Party.png
Emblem of the Communist Party of Vietnam
Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong.jpg
Donald Trump and Nguyễn Phú Trọng in Hanoi, 2019
Petar Mladenov 1978 (cropped).jpg
Author/Creator: , Licence: Attribution
Petar Mladenov, foreign minister of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (2 February 1978)
Ramiz Alia (i ri).jpg
A portrait of a young Ramiz Alia
Andros-Kyprianou-2011.jpg
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Leader of the Communist party of Cyprus, AKEL, Andros Kyprianou 21 November 2011.
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Portret Nicolae Ceaușescu.
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Flag of Second Polish Republic and later People's Republic of Poland in period from 1928 to 1980. Red shade used here is HTML "vermilion" #E34234. Proportion 5:8.
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(c) President.az, CC BY 4.0
18th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement gets underway in Baкu
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Representación habitual de Marx, Engels y Lenin
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Logo of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1984-0704-400, Egon Krenz.jpg
(c) Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1984-0704-400 / CC-BY-SA 3.0
For documentary purposes the German Federal Archive often retained the original image captions, which may be erroneous, biased, obsolete or politically extreme. Info non-talk.svg
ADN-ZB/DEWAG/24.10.1989

Berlin: Egon Krenz, Generalsekretär des ZK der SED, Vorsitzender des Staatsrates der DDR, Vorsitzender des Nationalen Verteidigungsrates der DDR.

Aufnahmedatum: 5.6.1984
Grósz Károly 1986.jpg
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Károly Grósz in 1986.
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Símbolo del Partido Comunista de España
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Simbolo del PCUS (Partito comunista dell'Unione sovietica) Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
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Emblem of the Communist Party of the United States
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Xi Jinping with Narendra Modi
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Indian Rajyasabha member Sitharam Yechuri MP ;He is also a politbureau member of CPI (M)
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Logo of the Communist Party of Kampuchea
RIAN archive 850809 General Secretary of the CPSU CC M. Gorbachev (crop).jpg
(c) RIA Novosti archive, image #850809 / Vladimir Vyatkin / CC-BY-SA 3.0
“General Secretary of the CPSU CC M. Gorbachev”. General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev speaking at the 20th Congress of the VLKSM. Kremlin Palace of Congresses.