EAST BERLIN — East Germany's struggling Communist Party convened an emergency meeting Saturday amid calls for its disbandment and said its membership had shrunk to 1.2 million, half last January's figure.
The party said that figure could shrink further, perhaps to half a million. But some grass-roots Communist groups think even that is optimistic. They say the party has been unable to adapt to reforms and weed out all hard-liners and should be dissolved.
Yielding to pressure, the party leadership convened the emergency session Saturday to decide whether to call a special congress that would vote on disbandment.
Party chairman Gregor Gysi told the meeting at the old Central Committee headquarters that the party should fight on. To break it up now could destabilize the country and even endanger Moscow's perestroika reforms, he said.