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Panama / Canal Treaty Vote #491021

NBC Evening News for Monday, Oct 24, 1977
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(Studio) Panamanians have voted 2-1 for Canal treaty, but this is less than government had hoped for.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Panama) Early returns indicate 65% of Panamanians vote for treaty, and despite charges of fraud, this appears to be accurate. Govt. had hoped for higher percentage; some vote against it because they feel United States would have too much power. Former treaty negotiator Aquilino Boyd says many voted no specifically because of neutrality pact. [BOYD - believes pact gives United States right to intervene in Panama's affairs, even in event of political upheaval ending in closing of Canal.] Many Panamanians don't understand pols. of treaty, just that it means jobs and better life for them. It is in poor areas that General Torrijos campaigned for ratification.
REPORTER: Fred Francis

(Studio) In US, 2-1 vote given treaty in Panama, would have been landslide, but in Panamanian pols., it apparently wasn't enough.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

Chancellor, John;
Francis, Fred

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