BONN, AUG. 2 -- The two Germanys signed a key political agreement today setting rules for all-German elections to be held Dec. 2.

But while the grass-roots political groups that toppled Communist governments throughout the Eastern Bloc now run some of those countries, the effect of today's agreement is to keep the heroes of the East German revolution from entering the first post-World War II parliament of a united Germany.

West German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called the deal "a good day for Germany," and other members of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's center-right ruling coalition welcomed the accord, but small East German parties whose demise it will likely mean denounced it.

"The door's been shut in our face," said Konrad Weiss, a member of parliament from Buendnis 90, the collection of citizens' movements whose mass demonstrations last fall drove East Germany's Communist rulers from power.

Buendnis 90 declared the election treaty "deeply undemocratic" and threatened to boycott the vote. Buendnis 90 -- which includes the pivotal citizens' movements New Forum and Democracy Now -- won less than 3 percent of the vote in East German elections in March and now holds 12 of the 400 seats in the East German parliament.

"As we saw in the March election, the people on the street don't care about these groups anymore," said Stephanie Wahl, an analyst at Bonn's Institute for Economic and Social Policy. "It was really a movement of the intellectual elite. On the other hand, it is a great pity that they won't be in the parliament. They are smart people who could have a positive impact."

It is also nearly certain that the new rules will keep the former East German Communists, now known as the Party of Democratic Socialism, out of the all-German parliament. Despite frantic efforts by party chairman Gregor Gysi, no West German party is willing to form a coalition with the party that kept East Germany under Stalinist repression for four decades.

Under the election deal, the reunited Germany will retain West Germany's requirement that parties must win 5 percent of the vote to be represented in parliament. The hurdle is meant to keep out extremist parties and prevent Germany from descending into the political disarray that contributed to the failure of democracy in the Weimar Republic between the two world wars.

But in a compromise designed to save East German Premier Lothar de Maiziere's precarious ruling coalition, small parties that have no chance to win 5 percent of the all-German vote will be allowed to run piggyback on the tickets of larger parties.

The stated intent was to allow East German parties to survive after their country vanishes, but the effect is the opposite, because the East German parties may only join up with parties not competing in their part of Germany. That means that only one East German party will benefit from the arrangement -- the German Social Union, a right-wing ally of Bonn's ruling coalition. The DSU exists only in the East, and its West German partner, the Christian Social Union, exists only in Bavaria.

Buendnis 90 wanted to join with West Germany's ecologically minded Greens, but the Greens are joining instead with the East German Greens -- leaving the citizens' movements without a partner.

"It is not a solution we liked," said Eduard Heussen, spokesman for the Social Democratic Party, the primary opposition in Bonn and a coalition partner in East Berlin. "Our goal was to help Buendnis 90 into the parliament. We did what we could."

The new election rules are only the latest sign of the increasingly dominant role West Germany is playing in the unification process. It also appears that East German leaders' positions are being taken less and less seriously by Bonn officials. When East German Labor Minister Regine Hildebrandt said this week that soaring unemployment in her country required another $6 billion in West German aid, Bonn responded by curtly advising East Berlin to find ways to spend less.

The leaders of the East German revolution have played an ever-shrinking role in this year of unification. One of the few grass-roots leaders rewarded with a prominent place in the country's first and last freely elected government is Rainer Eppelmann, the Lutheran minister who is now minister of disarmament and defense.

The sparring between East Berlin and Bonn may end sooner than expected. Two members of Kohl's coalition, the Free Democrats and the Christian Social Union, called today for East Germany to merge with the West even earlier than planned, possibly as soon as mid-October.

"I suppose it could happen any day, with all the trouble in the East," said Heussen, whose party opposes early unification. "Now that Kohl and {Soviet President Mikhail} Gorbachev have resolved the international questions about unity, why do we need separate governments?"