• Short Summary

    ARMY MAJOR MAURICE KOUANDETE WAS FORMALLY NAMED PRESIDENT OF DAHOMEY YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY) BEFORE TAKING STEPS TO GRAPPLE WITH THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC CRISIS.

  • Description


    COTONOU; UNION REPRESENTATIVES ENTER BUILDING; SOLDIERS; MAJOR KOUANDETE; DISCUSSION INI PROGRESS; M. CAHABI KAO TALKS; DR. ZINZOU TALKS; REPRESENTATIVES IN CONFERENCE; MAJOR KOUANDETE SPEAKS AFTER MEETING (FRENCH SOF).




    Initials IF/DW/VS/JF/SM



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: ARMY MAJOR MAURICE KOUANDETE WAS FORMALLY NAMED PRESIDENT OF DAHOMEY YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY) BEFORE TAKING STEPS TO GRAPPLE WITH THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC CRISIS. A FIRST MOVE WAS TO MEET LEADERS OF THE TRADE UNIONS, FOR DISCUSSION OF THE BIGGEST POINT OF CONFLICT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND WORKERS - THE 25% CUT IN SALARIES AND WAGES IMPOSED BY THE SOGLO REGIME.

    ACCORDING TO REPORTS, IT WAS THIS CUT, IMPOSED IN AN EFFORT TO SOLVE DAHOMEY'S DETERIORATING BALANCE OF PAYMENT POSITION, WHICH LED TO LAST WEEKEND'S COUP. OFFICIALS STATE THAT OFFICERS CONCERNED IN THE COUP HAD ASKED TO MEET PRESIDENT SOGLO LAST WEEK AS A SERIES OF STRIKES AGAINST THE WAGE CUT BEGAN TO SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. THE COUP FOLLOWED GENERAL'S SOGLO'S REFUSAL TO SEE THEM.

    IN YESTERDAY'S UNION REPRESENTATION, MAJOR KOUANDETE HEARD THE WORKERS' DEMANDS THAT THE CUT SHOULD BE ABOLISHED, THAT FAMILY ALLOWANCES SHOULD BE INCREASED, AND THAT WORKERS SACKED AFTER STRIKES IN OCTOBER LAST YEAR SHOULD BE RE-INSTATED. THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT'S MINISTER OF FINANCES AND ECONOMY, M. PASCAL CHABI KAO, POINTED OUT THAT IMMEDIATE ABOLITION WOULD RESULT IN A SERIOUS BUDGET DEFICIT. IT WAS DECIDED THAT A COMMITTEE OF STATE AND UNION REPRESENTATIVES SHOULD EXAMINE THE DEMANDS 'IN THE LIGHT OF THE COUNTRY'S PRESENT REALITIES.'
    MAJOR KOUANDETE WAS ALSO NAMED MINISTER OF DEFENCE, INFORMATION, AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS BEFORE YESTERDAY'S MEETING. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN OFFERED TO DR. EMILE ZINSOU, WHO HELD IT UNDER GENERAL SOGLO, BUT HE DECLINED THE APPOINTMENT.

    DURING THE DISCUSSIONS, MAJOR KOUANDETE AGAIN PLEDGED THAT HIS REGIME WOULD PREPARE A NEW CONSTITUTION FOR THE COUNTRY. THIS WOULD BE SUBMITTED TO A NATIONAL REFERENDUM, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COUNTRY WOULD THEN BE HANDED BACK TO CIVILIANS.

    AFTER THE DISCUSSIONS, MAJOR KOUANDETE SPOKE TO REPORTERS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACE87A753GOBWKKODUD7LEPWLM
    Media URN:
    VLVACE87A753GOBWKKODUD7LEPWLM
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/12/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:49:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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