A communiquÉ from Emperor Bao Dai’s office in Paris announces that he has dismissed Ngo Dinh Diem from the premiership and annulled his powers.
In a message to the Vietnamese people Bao Dai prophetically declared, “police methods and personal dictatorship must be brought to an end, and I can no longer continue to lend my name and my authority to a man who will drag you into ruin, famine and war.” Unfortunately, Diem suppressed the message and it was never publicly transmitted to the people.
Bao Dai had appointed Diem prime minister in June 1954, but soon decided that he was the wrong man to lead South Vietnam. However, by late 1955, Diem was firmly entrenched, having retained control of the government through a questionable referendum. Emperor Bao Dai retired and remained in France. From the beginning, Communists and other rivals caused trouble for Diem’s regime. His refusal to institute necessary political reforms and the rising unrest among the people, especially the Buddhists, eventually led to a coup in November 1963, in which he and his brother were murdered.