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General Zionists Gain in Israel’s Municipal Elections; Histadrut Leads in Voting

Provisional and unofficial figures in the municipal elections which were held in various parts of the country yesterday indicated that the Centrist General Zionist Party has picked up considerable strength as compared with the Parliamentary elections which took place in January, 1949. General Zionist leaders today claim that the party had 29 percent of the total vote as compared with the 5 percent it received in the previous election.

The Histadrut slate, representing the Mapai Party alone, was leading in a number of municipalities, but not in Tel Aviv. The unofficial returns from Tel Aviv-Jaffa indicated that the General Zionists there received 33 percent of the votes; Histadrut, 22; the rightwing Herut Party, 13; the left-wing Socialist Mapam Party, 9; Orthodox groups, 10; Progressive Zionists, three; Communist Party, two. The remainder of the votes were split up among various small groups, including the Yemenites, Sephardim and Landlord group.

Voting throughout the country was extremely orderly, with only one clash reported. The elections took place in 43 cities, towns and regions. The oterall picture, as it emerged from preliminary figures, shows that while the General Zionist Party gained and the Histadrut lost slightly, the Mapam, Herut and Religious Bloc lost heavily.

In Jerusalem, semi-official final figures reveal that the Histadrut received about 24 percent of all the votes, Religious groups 11 percent; General Zionists 22 percent; Herut about 9 percent; Progressive Party about 4 percent and Mapam about 10 percent. The Communists received two percent.

GENERAL ZIONISTS GAIN IN HAIFA, PETACH TIKVAH, REHOVOTH AND NATANYA

In Haifa, where the final results were announced, the Histadrut received 33 percent, General Zionists, 22 percent; Mapam 14 percent; Religious groups 12 percent; Progressives-Sephardim 8 percent and Herut 6 percent. The Communists received only 3 percent of all the votes. Although the Histadrut emerged as the first party, it lost considerable strength as compared with the 1949 elections. The General Zionists received only about 7 percent of the votes in Haifa at the last elections.

In Petach Tikvah, the Histadrut slate and the General Zionists tied for the first time in yesterday’s municipal elections. Both parties received 30 percent of the vote, with the Mapam receiving 9.5 percent; Herut eight percent; and Communists 1.5 percent. The General Zionists gain was considerable as compared to the vote in the general elections of January, 1949. At that time the centrist party received only 8.5 percent of the vote, as compared with Histadrut, 35.7; Mapam, 11.5; Herut, 12.2; Progressives 2.8; and Communists 1.7.

In Natanya, the General Zionist Party became the leading party. It received 22 percent of the total vote, edging out the Histadrut slate with 21 percent. The other parties ranked as follows: Herut, 15 percent; Mapam, 10 percent; Progressives, 11 percent. In the last election in January, 1949, the relative party strength was: Histadrut, 39.5 percent; Herut, 14 percent; Mapam, 9.4 percent; Progressives, 8.2 percent; General Zionists 4.8 percent; and Communists, 1.1 percent.

In Rehovoth the Histadrut remains the leading party although it lost almost half its strength in yesterday’s election. The tally revealed the following standing: Histadrut, 26 percent of the vote as compared to 40 percent in the last election; General Zionists, 18 percent as compared to 8.2; Mapam, 12 percent as compared to 11.6; Herut, seven to 7.7; Progressives, five to 6.4; and Communists, two as compared with 1.3 percent.

In Lydda, the Histadrut slate again emerged as first. The final tabulations reveal the following picture: Histadrut, 40 percent of the total vote; Mapam, 18 percent; Religious groups, 13 percent; Progressive Arabs, ten percent; Communists, seven percent; General Zionists, six percent; Progressive Party, one percent.

The only untoward incident reported from any major center in the country occurred in Haifa where at least a dozen Arabs were involved in a brawl in which six were injured, although not seriously. The police broke up the fight and later announced that 12 persons were arrested and two pistols had been confiscated. A police communique stating that shots were fired, stones thrown and clubs swung during the fracas was denied by Mapam and Communist circles which insist that no shots were fired.

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