Wednesday, 9 July 2014

25 Years ago - Congress of Peoples Deputies created

Andrei Sakharov  - the congress's most famous deputy - calls for a multi-party system
Gorbachev's attempt at constitutional reform was the creation of the Congress of Peoples' Deputies of the Soviet Union in 1989.  750 deputies were elected to this new body - intended to comprise the Supreme Soviet - on 26 March 1989, with the first congress taking place over June and July of that year.  Although it was intended to separate the Communist Party from the state, the composition of the body (with allocation of seats to public organisations - the Communist Party, Komsomol, Trade Unions, Academy of Sciences etc) was designed to ensure the Communist Party remained the leading force in this new state body.  At the December session of the twice-yearly congress, Gorbachev berated nuclear physicist and human rights campaigner Andrei Sakharov in a televised debate in which Sakharov was demanding a true multi-party system.

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