Governing Party Reaches Agreement In Policy Disputes
TOULOUSE, France (AP) _ The Socialist Party Congress reached agreement Sunday on major policy disputes that had threatened to divide the governing party before critical parliamentary elections in March.
Party leaders produced the common resolution after 71/2 hours of discussion to reunite followers of Party First Secretary Lionel Jospin and those behind Michel Rocard, who broke from the main line earlier this year.
″For continued progress, the PS (Socialist Party) wants to rally together,″ said the final resolution, which calls for assuring a voice for the diverse units of the party and opening its election lists to outsiders.
Spokesman Jean-Pierre Destrade said the party agreed to ″take account of the forces at work in the interior of the party″ in deciding candidates in regional elections. The executive bureau is to act as watchdog over this, he said.
The phrase ″forces at work″ was a reference to Rocard’s followers. They make up 30 percent of the party, and had asked for the same representation on election lists.
Rocard, who has announced his intention to run for president in 1988, resigned as agriculture minister last spring in disapproval of party policies.
However, after the compromise was reached he told the conference there no longer were two socialisms, ″one for management, the other for utopia.″
Jospin concurred. ″I believe that we have profoundly and sincerely reached a common vision of problems and of our strategy for 1986,″ he said. ″The party leaves (the conference) strengthened.″
Some 1,400 delegates attended the three-day congress, the focus of which was modernization, or pragmatic Socialism.
The Socialists could lose their parliamentary majority in the March elections, and the conference represented a chance to unite, strengthen and plan strategy for the election battle.
The congress also decided that 20 percent of its candidates in the election would be women, and that its regional council members include a ″significant″ number of women.
Rocard has wanted the Socialists to spell out what he says are the party’s changing, more moderate policies, and the extent to which it would work with other parties to form a government, something about which the main body of the party has avoided being specific.
″We are all agreed that the (party) can in no case serve as a (junior partner) for the right whatever the complexities of the situation,″ Rocard said.
A national convention Nov. 10 is to spell out the basis for a future working agreement with other parties, the final resolution says.