Israel Cabinet Defeated Again; Orthodox Bloc Joins Opposition in Vote on Govt. Bill

The Israel Cabinet was again defeated today when Parliament by a vote of 47 to 44, rejected the Government’s “Transition Bill” which amends the procedure to be followed in a partial reshuffle of the Cabinet, redistribution of portfolios, or the resignation of the Premier–which is considered the Cabinet’s resignation.

Members of the Religious Bloc voted with the opposition to return the bill to the government. Voting for the bill were the Mapai Party, the Progressive Party and the Sephardic deputies.

Opening the session, Speaker Joseph Sprinzak read a letter from President Weizmann stating that after consultations with representatives of various political parties, and after a second approach by him to Premier David Ben Gurion to form a “caretaker Cabinet,” which failed, it is his “careful opinion” that the present Cabinet should remain in office “until new elections and the formation of a new Cabinet under a workable majority.”

The Parliamentary Legal Committee reported that it has not as yet concluded its deliberations on the election law and will not be able to present its recommendations to Parliament before next week’s session. This means that national elections cannot take place before the middle of June, since a minimum of three months must elapse between passage of the law and the holding of elections.

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