The South African House of Assembly has elected Mr John Vorster - the former Prime Minister - as its President.
GV INT House of Assembly.
CU Prime Minister P.W. Botha.
TV House preparing to vote.
CU Members balloting. (2 shots)
SV Public gallery.
TV Chief Justice FLH Rumpff announces vote.
MV President Vorster and wife leaving assembly and walking to car.
RUMPFF: "Vorster - 173 votes. De Villiers Graff 19 votes, and Professor Bozzoli 12 votes. According to section 95 of the Constitution, I accordingly declare the honourable J.D. Vorster duly elected State President of the Republic of South Africa."
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Background: The South African House of Assembly has elected Mr John Vorster - the former Prime Minister - as its President.
SYNOPSIS: The voting took place on Friday (29 September). The new Prime Minister of South Africa, Mr. P. W. Botha watched as the House voted. Mr Vorster had resigned as leader of the National Party for health reasons. He was reported to be suffering from circulatory trouble and other ailments. His resignation precipitated what has been described as possibly the most bitterly fought battle for leadership in the Party's history. It's said that it will take a long time to overcome the effects of the fight.
Despite the factional fighting, Mr Vorster's election as President was all but unanimous. The result had been greeted by sustained cheers from the Assembly marking the esteem in which the 62 year old statesman is held by his colleagues. Under expected changes to the Constitution the role of President will be more substantial with an increased opportunity for affecting the direction of South African affairs.