South Vietnamese voters went to the polls on Sunday (29 August) to cheese a new House of Representatives.
South Vietnamese voters went to the polls on Sunday (29 August) to cheese a new House of Representatives. The election is seen as the first real test of public opinion about President Nguyen Van Thieu's handling of the presidential election, due on 3 October.
Student opposition groups urged voters to boycott the Lower House elections because of President Thieu's decision to go ahead with the Presidential election, in spite of the withdrawal of his two opponents--General Duong Van Minh and Vice-President Nguyen Cao Ky. Both men claimed the President had plans to fix the October elections. In casting his ballot in Sunday's election, President Thieu said he was going ahead with the October election as planned.
Strict security measures were in evidence throughout the country. In last year's elections, hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded in terrorist attacks. Both the South Vietnamese Military Command and that of the Americans reported very little enemy activity, as the first voters headed to the polls.
Final results are not expected before Friday (3 September) in the election which finds 1,242 candidates vying for 159 seats.
SYNOPSIS: In Saigon on Sunday, voters went to the polls to choose a new House of Representatives. The Election Press Centre said that seventy-eight per cent of the nation's seven-million registered voters cast ballots, but only about fifty-six per cent of the eligible in Saigon had turned out. Police and troops were stationed at the seven-thousand polling booths throughout South Vietnam, and the country's million-man armed force was on a standby alert.
In the elections here one year ago, hundreds of civilians were killed or wounded in terrorist attacks, but such activities during Sunday's election were considered light by the South Vietnamese and American military commands. A team of fifty politicians and diplomats from thirteen countries toured South Vietnam as observers of the election, in which over twelve-hundred candidates contested one-hundred and fifty-nine seats. The election is seen as the first real test of public opinion concerning President Nguyen Van Thieu's handling of the Presidential election, due in October.
Student opposition groups urged voters to boycott the Lower House elections, because of Mr. Thieu's decision to go on with the presidential election, although his two opponents withdrew. Election officials said that it might be several days before the results begin to show any definite trend. It could be Friday before final results are known. One of the first to cast his ballot was the South Vietnamese Prime Minister, Tran Thien Khiem.
As President Thieu arrived at his polling station he said that he would go ahead with the October elections as planned, and that he would not resign, as his opponents have demanded.