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THE WEEK AHEAD

PRAGUE : A Political Identity Crisis

January 08, 1991

Civic Forum, the revolutionary political force that forced out the Communists in 1989, then swept into power in free elections last June, convenes Saturday to ponder its future role as the new democracy struggles through a painful transition.

Supporters of President Vaclav Havel fear the Forum has been corrupted by its evolution and want to return to the grass-roots, leaving the burden of politics to increasingly numerous and influential rival parties. But Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus argues that it is as a political party that the Forum wields the power to ensure a successful reform.

Outlook: a compromise, with the movement retaining its political profile but dividing into liberal and conservative factions.

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