YUGOSLAVIA: CONTROVERSIAL PARTY PLENUM OPENS

Created: 4/28/1987

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

YUGOSLAVIA:

Controversial Party* Plenum Opens

party leaders aee the Central Committee plenum thai opens todayhance lo stem growing liberaf/zaffon fn Yugoslavia,haj' are Hke'y to here only limited success; Ihe plenum ma/ only show Ihe centrpinartf apperalua'a continued Ineblllly lo reassert Influence. m W

Tha phwvum hi boing held at the behest o( partyprimarily loaders ot srxrie southern recKibacs. the military, and Witerna! securityccording to various sources. These harchknera are openly concerned about thc regie re's lessening ability to control Its many crtllca and ara pushing for tighter control over the preas and for restraints on ethnic nationalism, public protests, and budding political pluralism.!-

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Reform-mindedfrom Slovenia andputtrong defense of continued ckimocratizatlon. Media reporting Indicates they previouslywo-month postponement of the plenum. The centrist majority In the leadership, rneenwhlle, will support action only against extreme examples of dissent and nationalism J

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|Serbian kyaders are likely to try to redirect debate toward the complaints of tha minority ethnic Serbs of Kosovomounted two large protestseek. Serbian intellectuals secretly organized similar protests last year and may have sparked the recoct confrontations to ensure federal discussion of their grievance* jJM

The Central Committee at best will probably paper over differences In any final document. The plenum, therefore, will do Bttle to slow the pace of liberalization or to overcome differences between tho loosely grouped factions. This. In turn, could lead lo more Western-style openness. rrKtuding increased political protestsesult, the credibility of the central party would weaken even further and impair Ihe oovernment leadership's ability to Implement effective policies.

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