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EAST GERMAN LEADERS CALL FOR FREE ELECTIONS

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The provisional leadership of East Germany's besieged Communist Party Thursday presented proposals for sweeping reform, including the holding of free elections and a multiparty system, but rejected the reunification of the two German states.

The proposals are to be discussed at an emergency party congress that has been called for Friday in an apparent attempt to halt the rapid crumbling of communist authority.The congress comes amid increasing demands for drastic change and a growing outcry over abuses of power by former officials. The congress is expected to elect a new party leader to fill the vacuum created by the departure of Egon Krenz, who gave up the leadership of the state and the party. Krenz had taken over as party leader from hard-line communist Erich Honecker on Oct. 18.

The caretaker committee, composed of 25 party members known as reformists, called for the holding of "free and secret elections at the earliest possible date."

The committee called for closer cooperation with West Germany but rejected the concept of German reunification, saying Germany's division had become "an essential guarantee for peace, security and stability in Europe."