The Soviet Communist Party has decided to go ahead with a scheduled congress starting Monday, setting the stage for a titanic clash between hard-liners and reformers.
A full session of the party's policy-making Central Committee voted Friday to hold the 28th congress as planned, overriding a bid by liberals to postpone the session.They had wanted the congress delayed because they feared it would be hijacked by conservatives opposed to sweeping reforms of the party structure.
Party official Rudolf Yanovsky told Reuters as he left the Kremlin session that the congress would start Monday as planned and would last about 10 days.
Yanovsky, a member of the party's Central Auditing Commission, said state President and party chief Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the gathering but he gave no details of what was said.
The 3 1/2-hour session also unanimously approved new rules covering organizational changes to the structure of the party's leadership, Yanovsky said.
The independent news service Interfax described the session as "calm" and said there were no critical speeches of Gorbachev or other party leaders.