INTRODUCTION: In Chile, the military government has announced a new political constitution, the first since it came to power five years ago.
GV ZOOM INTO SV President and official
CU of Plaque in front of delegates "Cuarta Com Legislative" PULL OUT TO GV PAN delegates listening to speech
SV President Pinochet speaking on platform with delegates listening (TWO SHOTS)
SV Pinochet speaking PULL OUT TO GV OF delegates applauding
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In Chile, the military government has announced a new political constitution, the first since it came to power five years ago. The move is seen as an attempt to improve the country's image abroad, by launching a programme aimed at a return to democracy.
SYNOPSIS: President Pinochet has ruled Chile with a firm grip since the bloody coup of 1973. Recently, he has been increasing his own power in the ruling military junta.
But criticism has been growing recently. Eighteen out of twenty-one air force generals were forced to retire in a purge after suggesting an early return to civilian government.
The President said the junta has only the well-being of the nation at heart. There are no abuses of power. The government would soon be setting out plans to analyze the new constitution, which would eventually be voted on by the people in a referendum. Addressing members of the junta and minister of state, President Pinochet said the new constitution would be introduced in the near future.
The junta has run into opposition for alleged violation of human rights. The Catholic Church has demanded to know the fate of over six hundred and forty people missing since the overthrow of Socialist President Salvadore Allende. It's feared most have been killed by the security forces. The United States has cut military aid and opposed financial loans because of the reports of violations of basic freedoms. President Pinochet hopes the constitution will go some way to stifling criticism of his regime at home and abroad.