Primary Party Organization

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Primary Party Organization (PPO) was the official name for the lowest-level organization in the structure of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. PPOs were set up wherever there were at least three Party members, and every member of the Party was required to belong to one. PPOs existed in urban and rural areas, usually at Party members' places of work, such as factories, state and collective farms, army units, offices, schools, and universities. The highest organ of a PPO was the Party meeting, which was convened at least once per month and elected delegates to the Party conference at the raion or city level. In the larger PPOs, a bureau was elected for a term of up to one year to conduct day-to-day Party business. But if a PPO had fewer than fifteen members, they elected a secretary and deputy secretary rather than a bureau. Occupants of the post of PPO secretary or PPO bureau head had to have been Party members for at least a year. PPO secretaries were usually paid or released from their regular work if their cell included more than 150 Party members. Although the PPO may seem insignificant in comparison to the higher organs of the CPSU, it performed crucial political and economic functions, such as admitting new members; carrying out agitation and propaganda work (e.g., educating Party members in the principles of Marxism-Leninism), and ensuring that Party discipline was maintained. Finally, PPOs were vital to the fulfillment of Party objectives (e.g., meeting planned quotas and production targets).

See also: communist party of the soviet union


Hill, Ronald J., and Frank, Peter. (1981). The Soviet Communist Party. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Christopher Williams