March 13, 1977 – A day many places in the world went to the polls. In France, national municipal elections indicated a decided swing to the Left. By the end of vote counting, it became apparent that a Socialist/Communist alliance posted a majority in France’s major cities. The Leftists were vowing to challenge President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s coalition for control of Parliament in the next governmental elections, scheduled for March 1978. Giscard had problems within his own coalition, with perhaps the biggest one looming in Paris. Former Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, a Gaullist who had differences with Giscard d’Estaing was leading in the first round of elections for Mayor of Paris. But final victory may depend on which way the 11% Ecologist vote will go in the second round the following Sunday. The winner is chosen by counsellors elected in each district. But where no candidate gets an absolute majority in the first round, the two leaders are matched in a second round vote coming up the following Sunday.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland, voters casting ballots in national referendum crushed an attempt to restrict the number of foreigners living and working in Switzerland. The government campaigned for rejection of the proposal, saying it would spell economic disaster and brand Switzerland as xenophobic.
On the other side of the world – in Laos, authorities arrested 79 year-old former King Savang Vattana, former crown prince Vong Savang and another Royal son. Diplomatic sources in Vientiane said the arrests were made because Rightist soldiers acting in the king’s name were continuing to fight troops of the Communist regime. King Savang abdicated under pressure in 1975 when the Communist Pathet Lao consolidated its power and took over the government. At the time the king was made an adviser; essentially receiving a title without a job.
And that’s a small chunk of what happened, this March 13, 1977 as reported by CBS Radio news, beginning with an episode of Looking At The Law, talking about the history of Presidential pardons. All informative stuff.