Chile's President Salvador Allende made his annual state of the nation address to the National Congress on Monday (21 May).
Chile's President Salvador Allende made his annual state of the nation address to the National Congress on Monday (21 May). It was the first meeting since the March elections for all seats in the Chamber of Deputies and half the seats in the Senate.
President Allende said his government would take tougher measures to defeat opponents who were, as he described it, obsessed with promoting civil war. The President also said both the government and the opposition shared blame for the chaotic condition of the country.
The Nationalist Party, second largest opposition group in the congress, boycotted the opening session as a protest against the Marxist president and government's policies.
The opening of congress marks a new phase in Chile's politics. At the March elections, Allende's Popular Unity Coalition increased its number of seats despite problems in the land reform programme, the economy and the widening gap between the political left and right in the country. In the old Congress, Allende's party had thirty-six per cent of the seat???, but after the March elections, won forty-three per cent.