LONDON — A group of senior Soviet Communist Party and government officials has issued an underground manifesto in Moscow indicting the Soviet system and calling for a loosening of party monopoly and freedom of speech and press, the Guardian newspaper said today.
The criticisms mentioned the flagging Soviet economy and the "hopeless war" in Afghanistan.
The 17-page manifesto's key reform was said to be the creation "of different political organizations, all with the ultimate aim of building a socialist society" that would give the people a freedom of choice of rival programs as in the Western democracies.
Officials of Senior Rank
The newspaper said the group, calling itself the Movement for Socialist Renewal, comprises "party and government officials of senior rank, stretching up to the Central Committee."
It said they took the "dangerous step" of leaking the manifesto to some Western correspondents apparently because the Soviet media failed to publish or discuss it.