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Soviet Party Hierarchy to Meet; Change in Politburo Expected

January 25, 1987|From Times Wire Services

MOSCOW — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced that a meeting of the Communist Party hierarchy, postponed for two months, will convene Tuesday to discuss personnel promotions and other matters, the official Tass news agency reported Saturday.

The 307-member party Central Committee is expected to remove Dinmukhamed A. Kunayev, already ousted as party leader in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, from the 12-man national Politburo. Kunayev's ouster in December as leader of the Kazakhstan party and the appointment of an ethnic Russian sparked riots by ethnic Kazakhs.

Gorbachev announced the meeting of the party hierarchy in a speech to workers Friday, Tass said Saturday. The plenum had been set for November but was then inexplicably postponed in violation of established party practice which calls for two such meetings a year.

The most likely candidates for promotion to the Politburo to replace Kunayev are Moscow party chief Boris N. Yeltsin and Central Committee Secretary Anatoly F. Dobrynin.

Although the 12-man Politburo is the ruling body in the Soviet Union, the 307-member Central Committee is the decision-making body of the Communist Party.

Observers said it was the first time in memory that a meeting of the Central Committee has been announced in advance.

In a second speech reported Saturday by Tass, Gorbachev admonished party officials not to interfere in the agricultural sector, which has been a perennial problem in the Soviet Union.

Gorbachev blamed low production in agriculture on a tendency by regional and local party officials to interfere in the operation of state and collective farms.

"Let's mind our own business," he said. "This looks like a joke, but only at first sight. Everyone must do his business well, and then the tasks which are set will be solved successfully."

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