The State Department said Monday it has told Chilean President Augusto Pinochet’s government of its serious concern that he may cancel the vote on whether he should stay in power until 1997.
“We have heard reports that the Chilean government has plans to cancel Wednesday’s plebiscite or to nullify the result,” spokeswoman Phyllis Oakley told reporters. “We view them with serious concern.
“We have said all along that it is critical for Chile that the plebiscite be free and fair and reflect the will of the Chilean people. We have transmitted our concern directly to the government of Chile.”
Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead called in Chilean Ambassador Hernan Errazuriz on Sunday, and the U.S. ambassador in Santiago spoke to Chilean officials, Oakley said.
She said there will be no official U.S. observers at the elections but that private American groups have sent them and that there will also be observers from other countries.