De Gaulle to discard old voting system

PARIS, Sept. 29, 1958 (UPI) - Premier Charles de Gaulle, backed by a landslide vote setting up a new republic, was expected to scrap France's system of selecting National Assembly deputies. Between now and voting in November, informed sources said today, de Gaulle will scrap the proportional representation system that gave much influence to minor parties and replace it with the pluralities system used in the U.S. and Britain.

The new constitution approved yesterday gives the premier this right immediately. The other changes to bring about France's Fifth Republic will not become effective until Jan. 1.


Returns from yesterday's referendum showed that the constitution drafted by de Gaulle won by a 4-to-1 margin - 17,666,828 to 4,624,475. This was a majority 10 % greater than even the most ardent Gaullists had expected.

In Algeria, the principal trouble spot in French Africa, the constitution was approved by a majority of nearly 98 %, with a vote of 2,907,937 to 95,177. Despite guerrilla threats of retaliation against Arabs who voted, only about 17 % of the voters stayed away from the polls.

The new constitution will give the president of the Fifth Republic - virtually certain to be de Gaulle himself - greater powers than any Frenchman since Napoleon.

At a meeting tomorrow, the cabinet is expected to draft plans for the parliamentary election and start work on the electoral law which will make them effective.

De Gaulle is scheduled to fly Thursday to Algeria, where he will probably announce new policy measures designed to end the four-year guerrilla war in the big "overseas province."

The landslide vote for the constitution was not only a victory for de Gaulle, but a smashing defeat for France's Communists, who were the principal foes of the new charter.

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