Helsinki — Pro-Soviets lose control among Communist Finns
Independents have ousted a pro-Soviet minority faction from the leadership of Finland's Communist Party in a move aimed at ending 15 years of internal dispute and strengthening the party's influence among Finns.
The action was seen as a rebuff to the Soviet Union, whose proximity to Finland is a decisive factor in the shaping of Finnish foreign policy.
''There is no return to the mess of the past years,'' Arvo Aalto, the new party chairman, declared May 27 at the party's 20th Congress. Mr. Aalto has come under fire from Moscow in the past.
Communists, the biggest group in parliament some decades ago, have now fallen back into fourth place, with 27 seats in the 200-member chamber, in permanent alliance with the small Socialist Party.
In the last few years the party has seen a sharp drop in its membership.