• Short Summary

    Presidential elections in South Vietnam, March 15 - April 9 returned to power president Ngo Ding Diem, 60, strongly anti-Communist founder of the republic.

  • Description

    Presidential elections in South Vietnam, March 15 - April 9 returned to power president Ngo Ding Diem, 60, strongly anti-Communist founder of the republic.

    In Saigon, the capital, meetings of all candidates were attended by huge crowds.

    President Diem was first President of the republic set up in 1954 after the cease-fire in the Indo-Chinese war. Earlier he won the referendum in which the people were asked to choose between Diem and the former emperor, Bao Dai.

    In his election campaign, the president warned against the danger of communism, and urged speedier social reform.

    Presidential opponents included Mr. Nguyen Dinh Quat, 44-year-old industrialist millionaire of Saigon. He offered the people a "six-month programme" and pledged his resignation if he failed to bring down the cost of living within that period. He offered recognition of a government opposition, release of political prisoners except communists, and the promotion of a free economy.

    Another candidate for the presidency was Mr. Ho Nhut Tan, 75-year-old nationalist. He ceased active political work at the end of the second world war and is now reemerging. Presenting his policy in Saigon, he said he would encourage "real democracy". Anti-communism, he said, should not be made into a business for getting rich and securing honours.

    While reading a line from his manifesto - "our people's blood had run out too much and still we endure lots of dangers and sufferings" - he was overcome with emotion and sobbed.

    The meeting was suspended when people in the crowd fought for the microphone to put their questions.

    South Vietnam's electorate totals 7,000,000 - about half of the population. Electoral authorities said that despite attempts by Communist guerrillas to undermine the election by sabotage and propaganda about 85 per cent. of electors cast their votes.

    In the capital, after two days of pre-election Communist grenade throwing and attempted demonstrations, their Party is outlawed - polling stations were crowded with voters. Observers reported that most people chose President Diem again since the other two candidates lacked the capabilities of the founder of the Republic in preserving it against Communist guerilla activity.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA2WNNL7K6CF2AJP1TNKSGHDH0W
    Media URN:
    VLVA2WNNL7K6CF2AJP1TNKSGHDH0W
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    10/04/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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