Strong security measures were in force throughout South vietnam yesterday (Sunday) when the country went to the polls to elect a new National Assembly.
South vietnamese troops and police on guard in streets
Posters being put up
Ext City Hall
Piles of ballot papers on table
Policeman controlling queue
Soldiers arrive by truck at voting station
Thieu arrives at voting station, then leaves and drives off
Villagers walk to polling station
Interior shots registration, receiving papers and voting
Voters leave polling station
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Background: Strong security measures were in force throughout South vietnam yesterday (Sunday) when the country went to the polls to elect a new National Assembly.
In Saigon, with American servicemen confined to their bases, the government moved in extra security forces to prevent trouble. Armed soldiers and military police set up checkpoints around the city.
The election campaign had been relatively quiet...candidates were forbidden to hold public meeting or give speeches. All they could do was put up posters and have their workers distribute leaflets.
Polling began just after dawn. It was a long, confusing process - by paper ballot. In Saigon's first precinct, voters had to choose between 83 candidates contesting five seats. It took five minutes just to give each voter the balloting papers.
As the day wore on, voting queues grew longer. Soldiers brought into the city in case of violence were marched to the polls by their commanders. They too, had to wait as the tedious voting procedure went on.
President Nguyen Van Thieu, surrounded by bodyguards, voted at a public school near the Independence Palace. He said the would be back at the same polling station on October the 3rd for the presidential election in which he is the only candidate, scoffing at opposition demands that he resign.
In the countryside, voters went to the polls in thousands of hamlets, such as here in An Khe, just south of Danang. Terrorist activity sabotaged some of the polling and at least seven people were killed.
In little villages like An Khe, voting was simpler than in the big cities. Here they had only 15 candidates to choose from for three seats. Some opposition candidates described the election as a farce, claiming the government had rigged it.
Final results are not expected to be known until Friday - and they are expected to give an indication of the mood of South Vietnam, currently beset by quarrels and controversy over this and the presidential election.