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Thirteenth Party Congress

At the Thirteenth Party Congress of November 1984, Ceausescu's address was devoted mostly to the economy. The report made clear that there would be no substantial effort to increase the standard of living and that forced industrialization would continue unabated. It revealed that the industrial growth rate during the first four years of the decade had been much lower than was projected by the eleventh and twelfth congresses. The report did not mention food shortages and rationing. Ignoring the fact that electricity and fuel supplies to the general population had been cut drastically, Ceausescu blithely predicted that by 1995, Romania would be energy self-sufficient.

A major part of the report was devoted to the question of political-educational activity and the "fashioning of a new man" in order to "elevate the socialist revolutionary awareness of all working people." Observers pointed out that the report featured Ceausescu's Stalinist ideological orthodoxy more prominently than ever before. He called for intensified study of Marxist philosophical writings and urged the party to fight "mysticism" and "obscurantism" (euphemisms for religion), as well as "obsolete" and "foreign" ideological influences.

The congress elected a new Central Committee of 446 members, who in turn selected a commission to propose the composition of a new PCR Polexco of 23 full members and 25 alternate members. Among the new alternate members were Ceausescu's son Nicu, whose political ambitions were undisguised, and Tudor Postelnicu, one of Ceausescu's most trusted security men after the defection of Ion Pacepa in 1978 (see Security and Intelligence Services , ch.5). The size of the Permanent Bureau was reduced to eight members, only five of whom remained from the 1979 Permanent Bureau. All personnel changes after the Thirteenth Congress were designed to increase Ceausescu's power base.

Data as of July 1989