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The HSWP placed strict requirements on membership in
party. Members had to work actively on the party's behalf
a moral and political example for nonparty members.
The HSWP opened membership to persons at least eighteen
of age who accepted Marxist-Leninist ideals, participated
or more of the party's Basic Organizations, and paid their
In addition, the Party Rules obliged members to accept the
policies, guidelines, and organizational rules of the
Party Rules called upon members to be politically active
morally above reproach, command the respect of others for
work, and "live in a socialist fashion." The party
members to master the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism,
their practical and theoretical knowledge of this
fight against the remnants of bourgeois ideology and
Members had to observe the rules of party discipline and
the decisions of the party and the government. Members
undertook self-criticism to expose their own shortcomings.
Finally, they worked to strengthen and expand the party's
with the masses and to propagate the party's ideals and
Party members enjoyed certain rights. They participated
the discussion of theoretical, political, and
issues at party meetings and voted on the adoption of
resolutions. Members had the right to vote in party
to stand as candidates. Members were able to criticize "in
party-like manner" the work of another party member or
organ at meetings, to present a request or recommendation
Basic Organization, as well as to higher party bodies
the party congress, and to receive a valid response.
democratic centralism discouraged such criticism. Any
member who questioned the policies of the leadership would
subject to party discipline.
Data as of September 1989