Campaigning for Rhodesia's General Election ended on Tuesday (30 August) amid strong indications that Prime Minister Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front Party would win a sweeping victory.
Campaigning for Rhodesia's General Election ended on Tuesday (30 August) amid strong indications that Prime Minister Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front Party would win a sweeping victory. The country's predominantly white electorate goes to the polls on Wednesday (31 August) and the results could affect the current efforts at an Anglo-American settlement for Rhodesia. In a speech at his final campaign rally Monday night (29 August) Mr Smith defiantly said he would never yield to black nationalist demands for one-man one vote or speak to the representatives of guerrilla organisations. These two points are expected to be put by the British Foreign Secretary David Owen and America's black envoy to the UN Andrew Young when they arrive in Salisbury for talks a day after the election. Mr Smith is speaking a mandate from the electorate to negotiate majority rule only with black nationalist living inside Rhodesia.
The main stumbling black is understood to be who should have control of the security forces during the transitional period. Rhodesia's white controlled army or the black guerrillas fighting it out for the last five years.
SYNOPSIS: Dr Owen and Mr Young who left South Africa for Tanzania on Tuesday (30 August) will be keeping a close eye on the Rhodesian results. So far there's been little progress in the current Anglo-American effort. The two men made no statement before leaving the airport in a British Royal Air Force jet. Both men held intensive talks with the South African Prime Minister John Vorster and his Foreign Minister Mr Pik Botha. Sources close to the Anglo-American team said there was little optimism after the talks that the latest initiative over Rhodesia could succeed.