On the 7th of May last year a civilian government took over again in Dahomey, after seven months of a military directorate.
GV President Maga arriving
SV President salutes the flag.
CU's & SV's Chiefs listen (5 shots)
SV President takes seat on rostrum
SV & CU Soldiers march past
GV Officials and military (2 shots)
GV Girl guides scouts march past (2 shots)
GTV & STV People carry banners past (4 shots)
SV Young people carrying banners and flags passing (2 shots)
SV President watches
SV Women dancing
SV Man balances on hands in front of President
GV People crowded around rostrum cheering
Initials BB/2159 MF/PW/BB/2336
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Background: On the 7th of May last year a civilian government took over again in Dahomey, after seven months of a military directorate. Last Friday marked one year to the day after President Hubert Maga's installation to lead a Presidential Commission of three former Presidents, and it was declared a public holiday. A colourful anniversary parade was held in Abomey, attended by President Maga.
SYNOPSIS: A parade in Abomey last Friday marked the first anniversary of Dahomey's return to civilian rule, which took place on the seventh of May, 1970. President Hubert Maga reviewed the parade. He was installed as President last May, as head of a three-man Presidential Commission, made up of the three former Presidents.
The "military" governed Dahomey from December 1969 until May 1970, after the General Election was cancelled. The military directorate said it had cancelled the election at a time when the country needed a strong hand, because of the threat of civil war. The anniversary celebrations of its departure was attended by many of the local leaders, military as well as civilian.
The great achievement of the three-man Presidential Commission which President Maga heads is that by its very existence the country has for the first time brought together the three main political leaders in Dahomey, in one group.
The anniversary parade began with a march past by units of the Dahomey army. Watching the parade with the President was another member of the Presidential Commission, Justin Ahomadegbe Tometin...also there were many government officials and military leaders
The next group taking part were some of the local scouts and girl guides. Thousands of people from Abomey, which is 125 kilometres north of the capital, Cotonou, lined the route of the procession, and their number was swollen by a great influx from the outlying districts. Many of them joined in the procession.
All sectors of the population took part in the anniversary celebrations, including many of the young people. The Presidential commission being celebrated is a temporary institution, whose life was set at six years. Every two years a new commission will be chosen, and the institution is now under review. After the parade, President Maga and the other two members of the Commission took part in a seminar that will study the working and results of the Commission. After one year of a three-man ruling body, the institution is at the same time being reviewed, and celebrated.