Last year, the military Government of Peru, headed by General Francisco Morales Bermudez, agreed to elections being held for a Constituent Assembly on the fourth of June this year.
TOP GV PAN: Vast crowd chanting "Haya...President".
TV: Haya De La Torre walks through supporters to platform.
CU PAN: Crowd chanting and applauding.
CU: Haya De La Torre waves handkerchief from platform.
CU: Crowd waving handkerchiefs.
CU: Haya De La Torre.
CU: Haya De La Torre.
TV: Crowd listen as Haya De La Torre starts to speak.
LV & GV: Haya De La Torre addressing rally. (THREE SHOTS)
The seeming reconciliation between APRA and the military after 50 years of feuding has not been greeted with enthusiasm by all sectors of the Army. Apart from the statement about Peru's handover to the Communists, which was seen as an attack on the military, many officers are said to be reluctant to forget the APRA uprising in 1931, in Trujillo, when thousands were killed in massacres and reprisals. Colonel Segundo Morales Bermudez, the father of the present Head of State was killed in the uprising.
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Background: Last year, the military Government of Peru, headed by General Francisco Morales Bermudez, agreed to elections being held for a Constituent Assembly on the fourth of June this year. The campaign for these elections was begun in the Peruvian capital of Lima on Friday (6 January), by Victor Raul Haya de La Torre, the 84-year-old leader of APRA- the Popular Revolutionary American Alliance. The party is strongly opposed to military rule but in his campaign speech, Senhor Haya De La Torre was reported to have been extremely moderate in his criticism of the military Government.
SYNOPSIS: The crowd which had assembled in the San Martin Plaza was said to have been the largest gathering in Lima since APRA held a similar rally almost 12 months ago. 50,000 people were reported to have been in the square on Friday.
Despite his age, Senhor Haya De La Torre may feel his hour has come, although scheduled General and Presidential elections will not be held until 1980.
Senhor Haya De La Torre called on the military Government to supply information on the country's foreign debt which he said had been 'swollen' for two years. He also demanded that the projected Constituent Assembly be given autonomy and power. He was referring to threats made by the Government, who've said the Constituent Assembly would be annulled if it failed to incorporate the reforms enacted since the military Administration of the late General Juan Velasco Alvarado took power in 1968.
In the past, Senhor De La Torre has said General Velasco had delivered Peru into the hands of the Communists with his radical stand. Late last year however, Senhor De La Torre was quoted in a Venezuelan magazine as saying he'd discussed Peru's future with General Morales. Both the Government and APRA denied making a pact giving APRA a big part in the power structure of the future while giving the military a share in the running of the country after 1980. Interior Minister General Cisneros said, however, that APRA had agreed with some Government stands.