Moslems in sone 600 small communes of the Algerian countryside, where they outnumber Europeans by five to one, cast the first votes in the Algerian referendum, Jan 6.
Moslems in sone 600 small communes of the Algerian countryside, where they outnumber Europeans by five to one, cast the first votes in the Algerian referendum, Jan 6. First reports spoke of a 60% poll, with 1 1/2 million people qualified to vote in the area.
Voters in the referendum - described by General de Gaulle in his last campaign speech as "one of the principal events of our history" have the choice between slips marked "Yes" and "No". They have been asked to answer the question: "Do you approve the draft law submitted to the French people by the President of the Republic concerning the self-determination of the people of Algeria and the organization of the public authorities in Algeria before self-determination?"
First day voting was quiet except for three incidents. The Moslem president of a polling station was assassinated at Harrata, near Setif, as voting began, and at night a bomb exploded at the Government-General administrative office in Algiers without causing great damage or any casualties. There was also an unsuccessful bomb attempt on a power line feeding Algiers radio, when General de Gaulle's speech was dur to be transmitted.
About 4.8 million persons throughout Algeria - including 650,000 Europeans and 340,000 members of the armed forces - had enrolled when the electoral lists were closed. Voting was to continue in the small towns on Jan 7 and in the cities of Algeria, as well as throughout Metropolitan France, on Jan 8.