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GORBACHEV FAVORED TO LEAD LAWMAKERS
NO PERSONNEL CHANGES ANNOUNCED, BUT SPIRITED DEBATE TARGETS LIGACHEV

The Communist Party leadership of the Soviet Union held a one-day plenum Monday and recommended Mikhail Gorbachev be named president of the new parliament, the official Tass news agency said.

No personnel changes were announced in the Russian-language Tass report of the 251-member Communist Party Central Committee plenum.The Central Committee recommended Monday Gorbachev be the president of the new Supreme Soviet, or parliament, of 542 members to be elected by the larger Congress of People's Deputies, which convenes Thursday.

The parliament has the power to elect a president from its ranks, but it is almost certain that Gorbachev, the initiator of the current political reforms, will be elected the first president of the legislature.

Reporting on the one-day plenum, Tass gave few and vague details but enough to indicate a spirited debate over unspecified corruption charges that had been leveled at Politburo member Yegor Ligachev, a conservative and once No. 2 to Gorbachev in the Politburo.

Tass said Ligachev spoke at the plenum, and that his chief opponent, Boris Yeltsin, also spoke at the gathering. Yeltsin had said over the weekend that Ligachev should be removed from power.

Yeltsin, the Communist Party maverick, was fired out of the Politburo almost two years ago for saying that perestroika reforms were going too slow. But in a remarkable comeback he has since been elected a member of parliament.

The last time Yeltsin and Ligachev faced off against each other was at a special party conference in June, and those verbal fireworks riveted the attention of the entire nation because the debate was televised.

The June special party conference laid the outlines for the political restructuring, laying down the guidelines for the electing of the 2,250-member Congress.

The Congress will convene a five-day session Thursday, and one of its first orders of business will be to elect the smaller Supreme Soviet.