Four and a half million Chileans vote on Sunday in Congressional elections which all parliamentary parties regard as the most important test of electoral feelings since Marxist President Salvador Allende took office 30 months ago.
GTV Marchers along road carrying banners
SV Girls with banner and chanting (2 shots)
SV Parade led by party cars
SV Procession with banners
SV ZOOM IN Jarpa on platform
STV Supporters wave and shout
GTV PAN NIGHT SCENE of supporters holding torches
LV Rockets bursting
SV Girl supporters jumping up and down and shouting
SV jarpa speaking (2 shots)
Initials BB/0040 TH/AS/BB/0113
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Four and a half million Chileans vote on Sunday in Congressional elections which all parliamentary parties regard as the most important test of electoral feelings since Marxist President Salvador Allende took office 30 months ago.
At stake in the elections are 150 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and half of the 50-seat Senate. Most observers regard the result as something of a vote of confidence -- or censure -- on the leftwing Popular Unity coalition government of Dr. Allende.
The combined opposition parties range from middle-of-the-road Christian Democrats to extreme right-wing National Party. If they win to-thirds of the seats in both houses, they would pass censure motions on President Allende, ultimately forcing his resignation.
On the eve of the poll, the National Party held a massive rally in a carnival atmosphere in Santiago. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the Plaza Italia to hear an address by party president Onofre Jarpa, who's standing as a candidate for the Senate.