Created: 1/12/1968

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a week of replacing long-time Czechoslovak party boss Novotny, Slovak leader Dubcek has moved boldly to set in notion fat-reaching changes benefiting society and the individual, but he has many problems to overcome in this endeavor.

Dubcek has een awareness of the necessity for realistic responses to the serious problems facing the country, particularly on the domestic scene. Ho has also made clear his understanding of the needs of the people.

Onanuary the official party dally, Rudo Pravo,an article chat set forth in broaderies of radical proposals. Zfthese proposals wouldomostic policy more liberal than that of This plan presumably reflects the consensus of the central committee under Dubcek. It emphasizes that henceforth Czechoslovak democracy mustbe concerned with the rights and liberties of the individual. Moreover, the party may no longer use its power to undermine this ideal "by the pressure ofin the name of theinterests.- As athe article points out that Czechoslovakia must develop forms of administration that create "more and more room for self-administration."

The article also asserts that the party must withdraw from its

ubiquitous role in society and must remove itself from theadministration of theand the economy. Into accomplish this,officials, from theto the lowest levels, will no longer be permitted to hold both government and party posts. It appears that virtually all party leaders, as well as thousands of middle-level functionaries will be affected.

Personnel changes in the party and government, as well as structural changes in theare in fact being considered. The National Assembly convened earlier this week, presumably to decide upon these shifts. Premier Joseflike Dubcek, lovak--is almost certain to lose his job because it would be impolitic for Slovaks to hold both top party andposts; he is also said to have supported the ousted Novotny. Other officials who may be significantly downgraded include party secretary and ideology chief Jiri Hendrych, and Foreign Minister Vaclav David, both of whom are of the Novotny mold. Novotny himself apparently will be allowed to keep the presidency at least for the time being.

In foreign policy, Dubcek mayore nationalistic line than his predecessor,better relations with the Host and the US in particular, and possibly reopening talks with west Germany on the

Aftarnm* . /

establishment of diplomatic Indeed, if the Rude Pravo article is any indication, Dubcek apparentlyoreign policy aa independent as Rumania's.

Dubcek; will need time to consolidate hia position and totore etable coalition. This willomplicated process because he will have to loosen the party's absolute grip on political power to sake his reform programs work: and to satisfy liberal demands for greater cultural and political freedom. He will undoubtedly encounter stiff opposition from many of the entrenched regional and district functionaries, who have in the past thwartedat reform in order totheir positions. Inofesponse, andeans of countering it, Dubcek has already sent selected party presidium members andof his Slovak partyon speaking tours around the country to explain his new programs.

Novotny and his hard-line cronies remain for the present on the party presidium. Although their tenure seems limited and their influence is probably in abeyance at this point, Dubcek himself may not be able to count on the unqualified supportajority of the presidium members. His position may have been strengthened, nevertheless, by the enlargement of the presidium by four members experienced in some of Czechoslovakia's key problem areas.

Dubcek's election appears to haveast-minuteamong factions within the presidium and central No member of the Slovak minority has ever held the top party post, and Dubcek'swill be closely scrutinized. Czech leaders almost certainly resent him, partly because of his youthfulness, but primarilythe Slovaks over the years have been in the vancntardofthe opposition to Novotny. HtaV^HkaaaY

Original document.

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