VELIKY NOVGOROD, June 5 (RIA Novosti) -The 10th Congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) will bring about major changes in the party's leadership, Valentin Kuptsov, first deputy chairman of the KPRF Central Committee's Presidium and deputy speaker of the State Duma, told journalists in Veliky Novgorod.

"The 10th Congress will probably be one of the most difficult in the KPRF history," Kuptsov pointed out.

According to him, "the party has lately been under a strong outside pressure. Besides, it is currently facing numerous internal problems caused by its leadership's mistakes and miscalculations."

Kuptsov expects that the delegates of the congress will actively discuss the open letter sent by six members of the KPRF Central Committee to the party's long-standing leader Gennady Zyuganov whereby they call on him to step down.

"In all likelihood, consideration of the letter will not feature as a separate item on the congress agenda, but the delegates are expected to set off a heated debate on the issue," Mr. Kuptsov said.

In Valentin Kuptsov's opinion, the decisions taken at the congress will result in transformation of the KPRF Central Committee's structure and entail major changes in the party's leadership.

According to him, the congress is going to be difficult for Zyuganov as well as for other members of the Central Committee's Presidium. "The Congress is going to be difficult even though a good deal of differences on the party's tactics and methods of work have been smoothed out lately in the course of a six-month discussion held in the party ranks," Valentin Kuptsov said.

Mr. Kuptsov intends to announce at the 10th Congess that he resigns his post of the first deputy chairman of the Central Committee's Presidium to focus on legislative work in the State Duma.

According to Mr. Kuptsov, "it is high time we brought new people into the party's leadership and helped them in every respect".

With 14 percent of the vote, the KPRF came second at the parliamentary elections on December 7, 2003, far behind the United Russia which scored a landslide victory gaining over 36 percent. As a result, Gennady Zyuganov, who had invariably participated in every presidential election held in post-Soviet Russia, refused to take part in the March 14 elections, sending Nikolai Kharitonov in his stead. The latter managed to score just 7 percent of the vote.

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