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Knesset Rejects Motion to Postpone Israel Presidential Election

A proposal to postpone the election of a new President of Israel for twelve months as a mark of respect to the late Dr. Chaim Weizmann, was today rejected by the Parliamentary rules committee. The proposal made by two deputies who recently split away from the Mapam Party was turned down because, the committee said, it had been submitted too late and all preparations have been concluded for the election.

Meanwhile, it was announced in Parliament that four candidates were named for the Office of President before the deadline for filing of nominations expired. The election will take place in the Knesset Dec. 8.

The four candidates are: Isaac Ben Zvi, nominated by the Mapai Party: Dr. Itzhak Gruenbaum, named by the Mapam; Dr. Peretz Bernstein, candidate of the General Zionists; and Rabbi Mordecai Nurok, behind whom all religious parties have united.

Since no party or bloc candidate can command an outright majority in the Knesset, it is likely that after the first or second ballot several of the candidates will be eliminated, probably leaving the field to Mr. Ben Zvi and Rabbi Nurok. Since Mr. Ben Zvi’s party commands the largest single bloc of votes, his chances are deemed beat by observers here.

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