Salonica (Oct. 17)
The separate Jewish electoral college, abolished by Act of Parliament, signed by the President Zaimis in spite of its rejection by the Venizelist Senate, has been restored, despite the government’s insistance that the separate Jewish college must go.
This new turn of events was brought about by the action of seventeen senators belonging to the Venizelist opposition who signed a statement pledging themselves to vote for the re-election of M. Zaimis as President of the Republic. M. Zaimis is the Government candidate, and these seventeen votes are sufficient to secure his re-election so that there is no need of fresh elections. The seventeen senators made it a condition, however, that the new electoral law which was adopted twice by Parliament, being re-adopted after its rejection by the Senate, and has already been signed by the President, M. Zaimis, should be withdrawn.
In view of the circumstances of the government agreed to cancel the law. The Jewish electroal college, therefore, once again exists. Jewish leaders are of the opinion, however, that notwithstanding its restoration the separate Jewish electoral college will be abolished. The Tsaldaris government has repeatedly declared its determination to abolish the college, and the Jewish elders believe that the government will stand by the pledge.
The last minute change in the situation when the Chamber was on the verge of dissolution for new elections already fixed for November 12, has resulted in postponement of the elections. Negotiations are to be resumed with the Venizelist opposition, and there is a probability that a proportional electoral system may be adopted, so that the Jews of Salonica would cease to be the butt of the two opposition parties. Under a system of proportional voting there need be no Jewish separate college.
Considerable tension still exists in the country and the feeling against the Jews among the Venizelists has so far shown no abatement.