PRESIDENT Augusto Pinochet of Chile has reacted to his defeat in the nation's plebiscite (Catholic Herald, October 14 by quoting the example of Jesus.
In a speech delivered to supporters earlier this week, he noted that when there was "a referendum" to judge between Jesus and Barabas, "the people chose Barabas".
The comparison drew applause from the gathering of women volunteers who engage in charitable works organised by Pinochet's wife, Lucia.
General Pinochet is in power until next year, when there will be full presidential elections. The opposition coalition of 16 parties which managed to work together to beat Pinochet in the plebiscite has agreed to put up a single presidential candidate in next year's elections.
Pinochet's supporters have split into three main groups, the largest of which is National Renovation, which is desperately trying to distance itself from the secret police and other harsher elements of the Pinochet government.