• Short Summary

    In Rhodesia, election officials were counting the votes on Monday night (23 April) to determine the country's first-ever black Prime Minister.

  • Description

    SV Rhodesian leader Ian Smith walks to microphone at news conference in Salisbury

    SCU Girl taking photograph

    SV Smith speaking in English

    SV Journalists seated in hall

    SV & CU U.S. observers seated at table (4 shots)

    CU Foreign observer, Roscoe Drummond, speaking in English

    SMITH: "In all elections there are always some people who cannot turn up because they are away out of the country, or they are ill. So fifty percent rarely connotes more than half -- a fact, when one considers the intimidation in our country -- you people have had ample evidence of that. You've had stories tonight that how poor, innocent tribesmen have been ambushed in their own tribal areas -- no white people there -- simply because they want to go and exercise their right to vote in order to bring about black majority rule. I would have thought bearing that in mind, we should have been given credence with a lot less than fifty percent There is no doubt in my mind, that as a result of what we are now doing, bringing in a black majority rule government, there is going to be a big improvement in the security situation. You yourselves have had evidence of this over the last few days, where you've been told that the number of people surrendering has gone up tremendously -- in leaps and bounds. We have information, and not hearsay, which is confirmed by security reports that there are many hundreds, maybe thousands of terrorists, who are awaiting the advent of this majority rule government before they come back. Their minds have been poisoned by the communists from outside, telling them that there will never be a black government here, that this is another trap into which the white man will lead them. You know the sort of thing the communists put over. Some of them, I believe, have even been trying to sell it to you people here. Well, once they see that there is no truth in this, that their minds have been poisoned, then we believe there will be a big change."

    DRUMMOND: "In spite of the several ways in which this election is open to reasoned objection, it is our present judgment that the election represents a significant advance towards majority rule in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. The country has never had so inclusive and free an election. The elections in most underdeveloped countries are less free. In a world in which peaceful change does not, and cannot, occur all at once, this election is useful, and creditable, step toward the establishment of a free society in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. That's the conclusion of the statement."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Rhodesia, election officials were counting the votes on Monday night (23 April) to determine the country's first-ever black Prime Minister. Unofficial foreign observers, who witnessed the count, said the man they believed most likely to succeed white leader Ian Smith was the head of the United African National Council, Bishop Abel Muzorewa. Black and white Rhodesians voted over a period of five days to fill seventy-two black seats in the hundred-seat Parliament. The twenty white seats have already been won by Mr. Smith's Rhodesian Front party. According to Government officials, almost sixty-four per cent of the estimated electorate -- more than one-point-eight million people -- have gone to the polls.

    SYNOPSIS: On Friday (20 April), Mr. Smith appealed for international recognition for the elections. If the new government was not recognised, Rhodesia would continue to, as he put it, "knock the day-lights" out of the guerrilla forces.

    Several foreign observers were at the elections. Among them was "Freedom House", an American Civil Liberties Organisation. Their President, Roscoe Drummond, said the elections were "a creditable" step towards a free society.

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