Chilean President won't speed democratic process

Chilean President Augusto Pinochet ruled out the possibility of speeding up a return to democracy in Chile, scheduled for 1989, in a speech commemorating nine years of military rule.

He also reaffirmed his confidence that Chile would pull out of its deepening recession, caused by high unemployment and a fall in key export metal prices. He added that Chile's transition to democracy would be carried out according to the constitution approved by plebiscite two years ago. It allows for an initial eight-year transition period during which Pinochet enjoys wide powers.

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