VIETNAM STATION REPORT NO. 46/67

Created: 9/3/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

- VIET HA* STATION REPORTEPTE*-BEit L*

A BARE AND BLESSED PLURALITY

THE FINAL FIGURES ARE NOT IN YET ON THE VOTING FOR

PRESIDENT, AND NONE OF THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED IN

THE SENATORIAL RACE. BUT EVEN IF WE DID HAVE ALL OF THE

FIGURES, IT IS TOO EARLY TOEFINITIVE JUDGMENT ON

THE MEANING OFEPTEMBER ELECTIONS IN SOUTH VIETNAM, 5ECAUSE AS MUCH IS UNKNOWN AS IS KNOWN. WHAT FOLLOWS,

THEN, ISIGH OF RELIEF THAT EVERYTHING TURNED OUT

SO WELL THAN THE WISE PRONOUNCEMENTISPASSIONATE

JUDGE.

THE OBSTACLES TO THE CONDUCT, PROPER OR F ANY ELECTION AT ALL IK THIS WEAfrY, UlSCOMBOBULATED COUNTRY ARE SO ENORMOUS AS TO BE LITTLE UNDERSTOOD. OUNTRY WHERE GROUND TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN MOST MAJOR CITIES AND

* *

HFPROSTD FDRflETIASf LUTE:1

PRESERVATION CG^V "

aico

REHftlllS UNDER CONSTANT THREAT OF HOSTILE INTERDICTION, IT WAS NECESSARY TO. ESTABLISH the ELECTORAL tUFRASTRUCTURC IH 4* PROVINCES AND SIX AUTONOMOUS CITIES (danang , SAIGON, HUE , CAM ranh, DALAI, AND VUNG tau> . ALL TOLD, TJtfS. MEANT. the SETTING UP, AND STAFFINGtea POLLING PLACES^

each OF THE 11 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. ANDENATOR;lAL SLA.TES WAS THEORETICALLY ENTITLED. TO AH OBSERVER at- each. POLLING PLACE, ANDVER [WENT- WASO PAYING. FOR. THE*; FORTUNATELY^ THE. ACTUAL RUH.BER- ojv OBSERVERSPT WELL BELOW THE. THEORETICALM. each POLLING PLACE. HAD TO BE PROVIDED. WITH AN AMPLE- STOCIC, OF BALLOTS FOR ALL QF_ THE CANDIDATES AKD. SLATES--^

j ballots, in all, ih order thatter-could-.

EFXY SHEAF.nHIS MEANT MOyiNGHOUSAND tons OF MATERIAL, TO PLACES too SMALL TOXCEPT OH VERY LARGEr SCALE-EASURE. OF. THE-PROBLEM, each OF the-EIGKT DISIR-ICTSQFr BINH dinhEGISTERED VOTERS1 had.,tp- BE-fROVIDEDlO DISTRIBUTE. THE; BALLOTS AND COLLECT THEM, after.VOTING*

PReSenVATlONcW,

ThtCAMPA1GH EFFORT IMS

EITHER. EACM PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND St**roRlAi- SLATE WO THf RIGHT TO HAVE PRINTED AND DISTRISUTEDVERWENT LVPENCE A NUMBER OF LEAFLETS AND POSTERS EXTOLLING THE CANDIDATES' VIRTUES AND PUBLICIZING THEIR SYMBOLS (USED AS IDENTIFICATION FOR THOSE MANY VOTERS WHO COULD NOTLLHIS AMOUNTED TO AN ADDITIONAL EICES OF PAPER, ENOUGH TO KEEP THE LANDSCAPE CLUTTERED AND THE SEWERS CLOGGED FOR SCXE TIME. SURPRISINGLY, MOST OF THE POSTERS,

LEAFLETS, AND BALLOTS GOT WHERE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO, THANKS IN PART TO THE WONDROUS EFFICIENCY OF AMERICAN AIR SUPPORT.

THE VIET CONG AND NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY DID EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO MAKE THE. ELECTIONS FAIL. FORTUNATELY, ALL m THEY COULD DO WAS NOT VERY MUCH AS OPPOSED TO THE MASSIVE

EFFORT OF-THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT <WITH, OF COURSE, aiERICAn POWER INvTHE BACKGROUND). BETWEEN B HOURS,

2 SEPTEMBER, AND0 HOURS, 4 SEPTEMBER, THE VCIVILIANS, WOUNDED , AND KILLED 25 INTTACKS OF VARIOUS KINDS (THESE ARE MINISTRY OF SECURITY FIGURES),

2

ELECTION oav bsoxe cl- o SRIGHT, aftr* AA so STORMY NIGHT. PART OF THES1SUD OF RIFLE AND ,

IWTAff ROUNDS, GRENADES, ANDDUS IMG

LAST YEAR'S CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, LARGE CROUDS nad BUILT oP AT THE" POLLS ONE HOUREY OPENED, THIS YEAR FOUND PEOPLE STAYING AWAYAIT-AMD-SEEHOUGH OFFICIAL SOURCES STATED THAT ALL ROADS WERE OPEN AND THAT TRAFFIC WAS FLOWING as USUAL, THE BUSES WERE NOT ON THE ROADS UNTIL THE HORNING HAD MATURED. 0 HOURS* HOWEVER, MUCH OF THE WAIT-AND-see ATTITUDE HAD EVAPORATED AflD THE PEOPLE WERE COMING TO THE POLLS INNG N ANOTHER ONG ILLAGE WHICH HAD FOUR INHABITANTS WOUNDED WHEN IT CAME UNDER MORTAR FIRE IN MID-MORNING, LATER7 PERCENT TURNOUT AT THE PXLS.

IF THE VC FAILED TO MAKE MUCH OF AN IMPRESSION ON THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE POPULATION, THEY WERE MORE SUCCESSFUL IN THE CASE OF THE AMERICAN OBSERVERS SENT OVER BY PRESIDENT JOHNSON. VERURPHY OF CALIFORNIA AND GUY OF NORTH DAKOTA VISITED a POLLING. PLACE IN TUY HOA CITY WHERE an EXPLOSION SEVERAL HOURS EARLIER HAD KILLED THREE AND WOUNDED

AIGON?

- flPPR(ix in THEIR REACTION TO THE NEWS THATr

THE MUMBCP LATER RETURNED TO VOTE WAS DESCRIBED AS "FAVOBASLE. '

OF PARTICULAR SIGNIFICANCE WERE THE RESULTS IN IV CORPS, TKEHERE ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE POPULATION OF THE COUHTRY LIVES (INCLUDING EGISTERED VOTERS OUTOUNTRYWIDE TOTAL, HERE, THE MAIN BURDEN OF SECURITY IS CARRIED BY THE VIETNAMESE THEM SELVES, SINCE AMERICAN GROUND TROOPS ARE LIMITED TO ONE INFANTRY BRIGADE.

I "GENERAL

REACTION APPEARED TO BE THAT OF PARTICIPATING IN SOME

ARE IMPRESSED BY THE MAGNITUDE OF

. THE GVN EFFORT TO ENSURE ORDERLY ELECTIONS IN THE DELTA, ANDTHEESOUNDING VOTE OF CONFIDENCE BY

THE PEOPLE CLOSEST THING TO ORDER AND STABILITY

THAT THEY HAVE SEEN IN QUITE SOME TIME."

AS OF0 HOURS, 4 SEPTEMBER, THE ERCENT OF THE "r'WOTERS WHO TURNED OUT SEEM TO HAVE GIVEN THE MILITARY

THIEU/KYLURALITY OF ABOUTERCENT. (UNOFFICIALLY, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THIS MAY LATER DECLINE TO ABOUTHE PROBABLE SECOND-RUNNER, WHEN ALL OF THE RESULTS ARE IN,

/J*

SECRET

vietnam station repoftillark horse, truong dihh dzu, who had been expected to trail forth or fifth. two familiar old faces, both in their tf'l, tran van huong and phan khac suu, appear to be coming in third and fourth. soke quick arithmetic indicates that, if dzu, huong, and suu had been able to unite, they might-have won. an edually superficial prognosis for the future is that, while uk able to unite in running, they mfcy find it easier to get together in negatihg efforts of theegime toward constructive prccress. we small be watching carefully for ih)onsnified civilian oppositiok.

while we naturally take sat isfa.ct ion of the elections" outcoke, it by no means signals an. enp to vietnam'srather, it presages problemsewin sofe ways as difficult or more so to deal with as those we have faced in the past. the new legislature has teeth, and nothing

PKESBWAT.OWCrW'i

ftIGO.1 - -

VER THE PAST YEAR CF ITS FUTURE FEtTEEnS INDICATES THAT THEY WILL EE AFRAIDE. OPERATING AS THEY KILL BE WITHOUT ANY FBA1EWOPKS AHD POLITICAL PARTIES, a IS IMPOSSIBLE TCPREDICT WHAT SORT OF AN INFLUENCE THE LEGISLATORS WILL EXERT ON THE FUTURE OF THEIR COUNTRY. AT THIS POINT . THERE IS NO REASON FORUT RAKPANT CPTJ-IS!-hO'JLD BE EQUALLYHAT IS CERTAIN IS THAT THE FUTURE CF VIETNAM DOES DEPENDISE AND FORCEFUL EXERCISE OF PRESIDENT IAL POWETt BY THTEU (WHO HAS NOT PREVIOUSLY SHOVE

HiKSELF TOORCEFUL), AND ON THE HIV PRESIDENT'S ABILITY TO WORK IN CLOSE HARMONY WITH HIS VICE PRESIDENT (WHICH HESOT PREVIOUSLY DONE,F EQUAL IMPORTANCE WILL BE THE ABILITY OF THE TWO EXECUTIVE LEADERS TO ADAPTTO VORXING VITH THIS NEW PHENOMENON, TO BOTH OF THEM TOTALLYUMULTOUSLY iroEPEHDENT-MlNDED^LEGISLATURE. tZUi ALL THINGS TO ALL WEN

OF ALL OF THE CIVILIAN CANDIDATES, IT WAS TRUHM3 DINH DZU WHO SEEMS TO HAVE ANNOYED THIEU AND KY THE MOST DURING THE RECENT CAMPAIGN. AT ONE POINT, KY EXCLAIMED THAT, IF THAT

AIGON

I-'tAL" DZU UERE ELECTED, HE ftGE FOR HW. SINCE DZU NOW OFFICIALLY HOLDSF THE fATIORAL VOTE, AND MAY END U? fcflTH ABOUTERCENT, THE CAOE MAY HAVEE ft BIG ONE.

IN THEEARS SINCE HE WAS-BORN UM DINH, DZU HAS HANAGED TO GET AROUND IT, AND HAS NEVER BFFN ACCUSED

HE ALSO TOLD

CF BE IlJG BA SHFUL. HE WAS EDUCATED IN FRANCE; VISITED THE INITEO STATES; ISTRICT GOVERNOR OF ROTARY JOINED SOCIETIES FAVORING FRIENDSHIP WITH AMERICANS, JAPANESE, FRENCH, AMD CHINESE; AND PARTICIPATED IN BOTH THE BLODHIST AND CONFUCIANIST ASSOCIATIONS. HE PERIODTHE ELECTION, HEn'SUPPORT, I

THAT HE WAS BACKEDARGE AMERICAN FIRM, PACIFIC ARCHITECTS AID ENGINEERS. HIS SOU REPORTED THAT DZU HAD BEEN SOLICITING HELP IN THE UNITED STATES, WHERE HE HAD HAD PROMISES FROM "SOKEND WAS ALSO GOING TO GET HELP FROM ESSO, WHICH HAD OFFERED HIM THE SERVICESUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER. .DZU HIMSELF STATED THAT HE HAD AN EXCELLENT CHANCE CF BEIKG ELECTED BECAUSE THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAD GIVEN

K1WtYn ICI

HiFI LASTERS FOR HIS CftKPjklGh. O KG HIS COMPATRIOTS, HE HAS CLAIMED SUPPORT "FROM THICK TJZ QUA KG ANDi1IST BJ^HISTS, THE CATHOLICS, THE HQ* HAD, THE CAO da I, AND THE VIETNAMESE LABOR CONFEDERATION-

DT-U'S RALLYING CRY IN THE CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN "PEACE'" Mb THE F HIS .TICKET IS THE "whuk DOVE". THE FIVE SENATORIAL SLATES WITH 'WHICH HE IS-ASSOCIATED BEAR THE NAMES "PEACE ON EARTH," "PEACE AND PROSPERITY" "PEACE AND CONTENTMENT I, XI, AND JII-." -HIS FULl-PAGtAD PUBLISHED THE DAY BEFORE THE ELECTION ims CONINED ENTIRELY TO THE PEACE ISSUE, ANDEACE PLAN WHICH INCLUDED THE UNCONDITIONAL CESSATION OF BOWINGORTH VIETNAM,OTAL CEASE-FIRE SOUTH OFH PARALLEL; 'TALKS WITH

'OURANOI, AND THE NATIONALND THE RECONVENING'OF THE GENEVA CONFERENCE.

IN AND OFZU'S PROPOSALS ARE NOT

UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE "THAT

THE VC HAVE REGARDED DEU'S PLATFORM WITH SUCH FAVOR THAT 'THEY

HAVE GIVEN HIM THEIR SUPPORT. FROM TAY NINH, TOR EXAMPLE,

^REPORTSHERE HAD BEEN SUBSTANTIAL VC PROPAGANDA IN THE .PROVINCE ORDERING THE PEOPLETO

rs (C)

aigok te fc> tks dzu-chiei* ticket aks it is AssofttD that this

cakd izing had SOME whatever the cause,

Mu-CMLEU WOK If) tay ninh7 votes TO thieu-ky's Sf.SM. imilar report from kies GIAN3 toldC district committe meeting OR lC ust atc

CfFlCI.iL exhorted the personso the voters can understand the situation

and cast their ballots for" dzu.

all OF this is NOT to say that dzuoiwimist orON-communist sympathizer with the viet COfJS. but ii11mi

lalnlumsyrs

cuikins the support of

standapd oil, certainly

A WAR who can runtrong nat ionalisticket ofnd violent anti-militarism, while "simultaneously

gives evidence OF a supple, subtle character, one hardly knows WHAT TO expect of him,

IN SUM, the election was a success. it WAS successful PARTLY because it was not too repeat too successful; the melICKET von (which was good)', but notajority cvhich would have EEEti _BAD> . TO conclude,uote statements made by TWO. prominent americanovernor. hughesev

cern tit

1 el *

JtHSCfr. OTHER DAY: WITHOUT SEE IHQ EVIDENCE

that WOULD. lead TO. THEeaud OR WROKOTJOIWtt..

JT WAS fc. VERT XtWAS. AXAZEO fiT" THr ELECT idH.

-' PEOPLE BEING* INSTRUCTED IR; HOW TO

YOU COULDfcT RET- EIGHT" PEOPLE.ike THAT- INWHITNEY* YOUNG. OK THET URBAtf lEaGUEIs TWITH' WET. INTEREST. AND.WE.

f CITY: (PHAN.KA'IST HAD ROCKETS*AND: WERE WERE. REORLeTBEEN'. MORE

CONCERNED' ABOUT: THE FAIRNESS Off THE! PRESS THAN- THE!THE ELECTION

^ . ^afetrr

Original document.

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