Polish leader Wojciech Jaruzelski today rejected former Solidarity trade union leader Lech Walesa's assertion that the dismissal of slander charges against him two weeks ago signaled the beginning of a "reconciliation" between the Polish government and former members of the now banned trade union.
Jaruzelski, head of the Polish delegation to the 27th Soviet Communist Party Congress, declared at a news conference that "we have reached a satisfactory level of normalization" in the national crisis that brought him to power five years ago.
Early this month a Gdansk court began proceedings against Walesa on charges of slandering members of several regional election commissions after he issued his own estimates of voter turnout in last October's elections.
Walesa apologized before the court, Jaruzelski said in response to a question, and "this was the end of the incident."
"The court decision has nothing to do with the government and its policy," he added.
New Moscow Communist Party leader Boris Yeltsin, in a closed-door session before congress delegates at the Kremlin, hardened Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's remarks in an attack on the Central Committee apparatus, according to sources who were present.
Yeltsin blamed the Central Committee staff for not detecting a recent party leadership crisis in the republic of Uzbekistan, Soviet sources said. The official news agency Tass quoted Yeltsin as saying that "slumps and flops," in whole regions are caused by "inefficient control over the work of the personnel."
The crisis in Uzbekistan involved corruption, mismanagement and bribery among high party officials, and became so serious that it required Central Committee intervention, Gorbachev said in his opening speech yesterday.
Yeltsin went further, saying that the Central Committee staff should have acted to prevent it, a Soviet source said.
Yeltsin said that "the errors of some persons cost too dear a price to the country, the party's prestige and socialism in the world," according to Tass.
Former Politburo member Grigory Romanov is a member of the Leningrad delegation to the congress, according to Nikolai Popov, one of the congress delegates from Leningrad.
Romanov, ousted from the Politburo six months ago, is now living in Moscow, Popov said at a press conference today.
It was the first public mention of the former Leningrad political leader after he was retired from office and disappeared from public view last July.
Considered a major contender for the Soviet leadership until Gorbachev took power last March, Romanov is believed by many Kremlinologists to have been a major rival to the new Soviet leader.
"Sometimes your time comes and you have to retire," Popov said when asked about Romanov, "even if you are not ready to."