Created: 7/28/1977

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President Pinoohet'a speech onettingimetable for tho return to civilian government has evoked widespread comment withinof it critical of the timing and details of the plan.

evidently see the move as positivei they believe that Pinochet has opened doors that he will be unable to cloee. Debate over Chile's political future appears to be gathering momentum and may put additional pressure on the military for further llberallratlon.

The timing of the announcement caught many officials by surprise, but most oited ittep in the right direction. Some of the government's moat conservative backers even auggested that there waa room for foreign Hinieterardliner and ataunch backer of thethe OS embassy that the timetable might be accelerated! right-wing idealogue and praaidontial adviser Jaime Guiman said the program was "flexible." The time apsn forecaat by Pinochet aeemod to rankle other military and civilian aupportera who believe it would prolong military rule unduly. Critics allude to the poeaibillty that Pinochet coald.stay in power |

The most outspoken criticism came from Air Force Chief and junta member General Leigh, whose blunt remarka are indicative of indignation within the junta over not being ooneultod on important mattera. emipublic forum and in the preeenoe of foreign ambaoaadora. General Leigh expraased hla disagreement with the extended time frame of Pinochet's plan. Leigh stated that the three-phaee program waa much more conservstive and restrictive than he had bean led to believe. In public statements, Leigh had already made it clear that the junta had not been polled for its opinions, but merely informed of the general outlines of the new policies.


rollUcally sophisticated

de-*cratlosee this as the beginningew stage, tew believe that the nostrums prescribed by Pinochet -ill aurvlve in their present form, heturne to tranelating his vague ideaso constitutionality into reality, he fSti^-Sil-to tako Into account the diversity of opinion withinand civilian clrolee regarding the future struc-ture of government. On the other hand, there le little chanco that the Chilean military will preside over tho rebirth of the same system that esieted prior.

In time, hardliners within the Presidents entouragemoderate their views enough to reach acme kind of acconeaodatlon with influential political sectore of Km the wounde of the paet heal, the proapeoteore opon and tolerant government will increase. The reatoratlonrue democratic process will beby manyall of which cannow--but the chancee at least look better for the future than thev have at any point since the military takeover.


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