ESTONIA: UNITED POPULAR PARTY HOLDS CONGRESS

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TALLINN, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - The United Popular Party of Estonia, which represents ethnic Russians, had its 9th congress in the country's capital, yesterday.

Estonia is to develop into a latter-day European country, with two language communities in harmonious coexistence. That is the principal party goal. All nationals must be entitled to equal political rights with no language, ethnic or any other discrimination, said congress delegates.

National economic interests ought to determine foreign political priorities. Thus, the party has been working for closer good-neighborly relations with Russia, which include information and cultural exchanges, and mutually lucrative economic contacts between the countries and their particular areas.

The United Popular Party called the Left Center for coordinated action. It appealed to public organizations of that trend to evaluate possible patterns of teamwork for upcoming municipal elections.

The congress strongly condemned desecration of Soviet soldier monuments, and demanded the culprits punished.

The congress, which gathered 130 spokesmen of 25 regional party branches, specified certain clauses of the party program, passed several resolutions, and elected a new party top. Debates on a tentative new party name determined to leave the present intact.

That was a fruitful congress, even though the party is getting through hard times, Yevgeny Tomberg, re-elected for another term as party chairman, said to RIA Novosti.

Established in 1994, the United Popular Party currently has a membership of 1,662, with 25 regional branches. It failed to win any seats in the latest parliamentary election, with less than 5% of votes. United Popular presence, however, makes itself felt in many municipal bodies.

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