Leningrad Party Chief Dismissed From Posts
Leningrad regional Communist Party boss Yuri Solovev, who was turned down for a seat in Parliament by voters in March, was fired today during a visit by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to the nation’s second largest city.
Solovev, who is also a junior member of the ruling Politburo in Moscow, was the highest Communist Party member scorned by Leningrad voters, who refused to elect at least five top party bosses of the city and the region in March 26 parliamentary polls.
The action came a day after Gorbachev flew to Leningrad to look into the “complex of questions” raised by the party’s election defeat.
“A plenum of the Leningrad region on Wednesday relieved Yuri Solovev of the duties of first secretary and dismissed him from membership in Leningrad regional politburo in connection with his request to go on pension,” the official Soviet press agency Tass said.
It was not immediately clear whether Solovev would lose his job in the Politburo as well. He was appointed Leningrad party chief in July, 1985, four months after Gorbachev came to power, and joined the Politburo in March, 1986.
Only the Central Committee of the Communist Party can strip him of his Politburo seat.
Tass said that B. V. Gidaspov was chosen to replace Solovev to head the regional party apparatus in Leningrad.
“Gorbachev spoke at the plenum,” Tass said, indicating that he watched the dismissal of Solovev, who had criticized Gorbachev’s reforms even after his election loss four months ago.
Solovev, 64, ran unopposed for the Parliament known as the Congress of People’s Deputies, but more than 50% of the voters just crossed his name out, invalidating him as a candidate.