Election fever is high in Chile before the nation-wide municipal elections due to take place on April 4.
Election fever is high in Chile before the nation-wide municipal elections due to take place on April 4. A bitter campaign has produced demonstrations in poster-bedecked Santiago in support of Marxist President Salvador Allende, who won a narrow General Election victory five months ago.
The election will choose 1653 municipal aldermen from among 8,180 candidates, and could determine how far and how fast president Allende is able to transform Chile into a socialist state. Also to be filled is the senate seat which Allende left vacant when he became President.
SYNOPSIS: Election fever is high in Chile before the nation-wide elections due on April fourth, and Santiago is bedecked with election posters and the photographs of candidates The elections will choose I,653 municipal aldermen from among 8,180 candidates, and could determine how far & how fast Marxist President Allende is able to transform Chile into a socialist state. Also to be filled is the Senate seat which Allende left vacant when he assumed the Presidency last November.
President Allende won office by a narrow margin and won only 36 per cent of the General election vote, the non Marxist majority dividing their support between right-wing Independent Jorge Allessandri and Christian Democrat Radomiro Tomic in a three-way race.
So far the municipal campaign has been bitterly fought, with contending demonstrators marching through the streets. The Allende supporters, who seek to destroy completely the economic right, hope this result will destroy the memory of the narrow General election victory. The Allende Government is hoping for a major of 51 per cent, and its chances of achieving this are considered quite good by observers in Chile.
At his rallies, the President has stressed that since taking office his Government has controlled inflation, throttling it back from 34.9 per cent to only 2.1 per cent in last few months. The President has also campaigned on the speed-up in land reform, and his bid to nationalise Chile's copper mines. Another item in the Government platform is its proposed move from a two-house legislature to a popular one-house Assembly, in which the Government could push ahead its reforms much more quickly.