A proclamation passed by the South Vietnamese Senate yesterday (22 September) warned the Government that the one-man presidential election next month would lead the country to disaster, and called for the election to be reorganised.
A proclamation passed by the South Vietnamese Senate yesterday (22 September) warned the Government that the one-man presidential election next month would lead the country to disaster, and called for the election to be reorganised. The statement, the most serious criticism of the election so far, was read on national television by Senate Chairman Nguyen Van Huyen.
But the growing crisis over the election seemed far away as the lone candidate, President Thieu, made his first campaign speech outside Saigon at Pleiku, in South Vietnam's central highlands. He was addressing "Montagnard" hill tribesmen at a military training camp.
The President urged the tribesmen not to boycott the election, and joined in ceremonies involving buffalo-blood and rice wine.
This film was shot by Visnews Indochine cameraman Neil davis.
SYNOPSIS: In South Vietnam, President Thieu has been electioneering outside Saigon for the first time since he emerged as the sole candidate inn next months's presidential poll. On Wednesday he travelled to Pleiku, in the central highlands, in a bid to win the support of the Montagnard hill-tribesmen. There he visited a military base where tribesmen are trained to become some of the toughest fighting men in the South Vietnamese army, but he did not neglect their civilian ambitions, and handed out land titles.
Major General Ngo Dzu, the regional commander, is a strong Thieu supporter. The electioneering went ahead in spite of a warning from the South Vietnamese Senate that the one-man poll threatens to lead the country to disaster, and calling for the election to be reorganised.
The senate proclamation, which was read out on national television the same day is the most serious challenge so far to the October election.
But such criticism seemed far away as President Thieu joked with the hill - people and had his foot smeared with buffalo blood in traditional fashion. The only hint of tension was the tight security surrounding the ceremony, which forced cameramen to keep their distance as the candidate drank a good-luck draught of rice-wine.