On Thursday (March 1) a major campaign was under way in Chile leading up to Sunday's (March 4th) crucial election with President Selvador Allende's Popular Unity Coalition Government facing a stiff test from the Democratic Confederation.
GV Election poster on building TILT DOWN TO DITTO (2 shots)
MV Election pester at construction site
MVs & CUs Election posters on building and streets (4 shots)
GV Street scene
GV Popular Unity Party poster
TV & TV PAN People queue for groceries (2 shots)
GVs, MVs & SVs Women in queues for food and holding up goods purchased (5 shots)
Initials BB/0102 RS/DW/BB/0115
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Background: On Thursday (March 1) a major campaign was under way in Chile leading up to Sunday's (March 4th) crucial election with President Selvador Allende's Popular Unity Coalition Government facing a stiff test from the Democratic Confederation.
All the 150 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and half the 50 seats in the Senate were being contested.
A computer predication from early results, based on less than one per cent of the electorate, forecast 51 per cent of the votes for the opposition and Popular Unity 48.7 per cent. If the predication comes true both sides will celebrate.
For the Democratic Confederation were through likely to claim anything over 50 per cent of the popular vote as a victory while Dr. Allende would celebrate if the Opposition got less than the two thirds majority in both houses which they need to force him to resign before his term is up in 1976.
Dr. Allende has faced a hostile Congress since he became the world's first democratically elected Marxist leader in November 1970 with 36 per cent of the popular vote in the election.
Dr. Allende looks likely to increase his share of the popular vote. But Chile faces great problems. Inflation last year was a record 163 per cent and financial observers consider the country bankrupt apart from foreign credits mostly coming from established socialist countries such as the Soviet Union and The People's Republic of China. Shortages range from toilet paper to beef and spare parts for cars. This is said to be partly caused by the greatly increased spending power of workers. Dr. Allende says it is due to "Imperialist economic aggression".
SYNOPSIS: In Santiago last week a fierce election campaign was being fought -- leading up to Sunday's Congressional elections. The minority government of Marxist President Salvador Allende faced a stiff test from the Opposition -- the Democratic Confederation.
All the seats in the Chamber of Deputies and half the Senate seats were being contested. An early computer prediction gave the Opposition fifty one per cent of the votes cast and Dr. Allende's Popular Unity Party 48.7. It was based on less than one per cent of the electorate.
A two-thirds majority in both houses is needed to force President Allende to resign before his six year term is up.
The election was fought against a background of serious shortages in the shops. There have been queues hundreds of yards long outside tobacco kiosks. Whisky and Chilean wine have disappeared from Santiago shops. Meat and bread are scarce.
Last year there was record inflation of the hundred and sixty three per cent. Outside financial observers consider Chile to be bankrupt apart from foreign credits. Dr. Allende said last week the election would make everybody happy. Reportedly he will be relieved if the Opposition fail to get two thirds of the vote. They would claim anything over fifty per cent as a victory.