South Vietnam's current military leaders - Head of State Nguyen Van Thieu and Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky - tonight (Sunday) appeared certain to win South Vietnam's presidential election, but a "peace candidate" was running a surprise second.
GV Crowd listen to candidate
SV Crowd, candidate speaking (Vietnamese SOF)
CV Election poster tilt to Tran Van Houng
SV Crowd cheer and clap (2 shots)
SV Candidate Truong Dinh Dzu speaking
SV Crowd applaud
CV Truong Dinh Dzu speaking
SV Crowd applaud
SV Officials at airfield
SV General Nguyen Van Thuan
SV Officials tour polling booths (2 shots)
SV Officials inspect ballot box
CV Ballot box
SV Crowd and pressmen outside polling station
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Background: South Vietnam's current military leaders - Head of State Nguyen Van Thieu and Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky - tonight (Sunday) appeared certain to win South Vietnam's presidential election, but a "peace candidate" was running a surprise second.
Considerable support was given to Buddhist lawyer, Truong Dinh Dzu, who had called for an early end to the war with the north during his campaign. Tonight, with about a quarter of the votes counted, Truong Dinh Dzu had polled 260,000 votes to the 356,000 cast for Head of State Thieu.
Early returns had shown the Thieu-Ky ticket consistently polling over 40 per cent of the total vote, which would give them their expected victory over the 10 civilian candidates for the Presidency.
Truong Dinh Dzu, who told Prime Minister Ky during the campaign that the military could only win the election by cheating, thrust unexpectedly ahead of former Prime Minister Tran Van Huong as the results poured in. Houng had been considered the main threat to the Head of State.
The American-educated Dzu, and his running-mate, Saigon businessman Tran Van Chieu, defeated the Thieu-Ky ticket by 6,000 votes in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Tuong. They polled third in Saigon itself, but received most of their support in the Mekong Delta - particularly in the less secure provinces of the region.
Officials said 83 per cent of the country's registered voters turned out during the day, despite Viet Cong attacks which killed 49 civilians and wounded 204. Saigon, which was generally quiet, was won by Tran Van Huong.
But the military ticket began picking up votes as results came in from the Mekong Delta, where Prime Minister Ky had campaigned extensively during the past month.