CHILE: JUNTA PRESIDENCY STRENGTHENED
A governmental reorganization decree issued last week stopped shott of formally designating junta presidont Pinochet as president of the republic, but it vested broad executive powers in the junta presidency and named the incumbent "supreme chief of Ihe nation."
Pinochet's elevation appears to have been designed primarily toumbersome decision-making system. Issuance of the detailed "statute of the governing junta" not only reflects the determination of the armed forces to retain power until their goals are achieved, but also shows their concern withoral and legal basis for military rule.
Under the statute, the four junta members, including Pinochet remain in command of their respective military or police services. The statute sett out elaborate formulas for the temporary and permanent filling of vacancies on the junta and for the assignment of seniority to newey provision stipulates that permanentare to be named by thejuntalast in line ofto Ihe presidency.
The reorganization formalizes Pinochets gradual rise to de facto primacy among the junta members, but does not suddenly bring one-man rule to Chile. The decree carefully hedge*new prerogatives Legislative power, for example, remains the "exclusive domain" of the junta, as does the right to act on the budget, taxes, wages, and other specified matters. The junta president is to exercise various powers with ther "advice" of the junta, and the junta's decisions must be unanimous.
How much real power eventually will accrue to the junta presidency probably will depend in large part on the personalities of current and future junta members. Pinochet seems to be acutely sensitive to the importance of maintaining armed forces unity, and he will feel out the new levers of power cautiously. Sudden shifts in Ihe military government's policies or style are thus unlikely.
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