History, New Constitution
Prensa, national elections, opposition parties, prison terms, Severe restrictions
In March 1949, Peron promulgated a new constitution permitting the president of the republic to succeed himself in office. Taking advantage of the new law, the Peronistas in July 1949 renominated Peron as their presidential candidate for 1952. As a result, the opposition parties and press became increasingly critical of the government. The Peronista majority in the congress retaliated in September of that year with legislation providing prison terms for people who showed “disrespect” for government leaders. Many opponents of the regime were jailed in subsequent months. The congress shortly instituted other retaliatory measures, notably suppression of the opposition press.
La Prensa, a leading independent daily newspaper, was suppressed in March 1951. In the following month, congress approved legislation expropriating the paper. Severe restrictions were imposed on the anti-Peronista parties in the campaign preceding the national elections, which took place in November 1951, instead of in February 1952, the originally scheduled date. President Peron was reelected by a large majority, and Peronista candidates won 135 of the 149 seats in the house of deputies.
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