CHILE: LITTLE PROSPECT OF A CONCLUSIVE OUTCOME FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS

Created: 2/22/1973

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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Bothn tempers and hopes are rielng, but tharatla prospectonela-alva outcome from tha congressional election! onKarch.

Increasingly fragueat and aerloua partisan claahea have ceo sad loxen deaths and nuaer- ne injuries, acme to oypc-ition candidate!. In reaction. Interior Minlutci General Prate haacoanitJMtntsarties to reduceviolence, but thv efficacy of thina agreement" pro'ct . la limited.

Both governmentosition are optimiatic that they can retain or slightly batter theircongressional representation, aIt!tough notread la apparent. Iha point at issus is how effective Allende'a Popular 9nlty {UP) forcaa are in limiting the opposingargin of Because of complicated electoral laws and tha affiliation of theenators not up for, the opposition needr et leastercent of the vote to retain its najs&ities in both the Senate and the Chamber of Daaplte Allande'spopularity In certain sectors, widespread economic discontent gives tliaood chance and it is caating tha election aa a. Allende and the UP, however, arguepercent vote for government candidates--indeed any amount above Allande'e3 percentconstitute approval of his aoclal-ixatirn program. Tha usually hardhaaded Common Lsts areP vote ofercent or over.

Chilean politicians are uneasy over the oncer-tain affect of aevaral new elements in this Tha electorate is at leaataroant larger than in tha last congressional elactiona,nd the franchise haa bean extended to illiterate*year-olds. In addition, theof all but one small party into two competing alates will alter past effects of the complicated proportional systaa. of vote computation.

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Another imponderable is the effects of military participation in the government and. morethe reaction of General Prata and otherelements to tha election result, which willajor influence on post-electoral develop-senu. Should military support for the government continue at ita present level, Aliunde would^emerge with the advantage, whatever the vote. BJJJJJJJJJJBH

22 Feb 73

Original document.

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