TEL AVIV (Jul. 27)
Incomplete returns, representing about 90 percent of the votes cast in Israel’s national elections, indicated today that although the Mapai, Israel’s Labor Party, remained the leading party in the country, getting about one-third of the 850,000 votes cast, it had lost four percent as against the totals in the last general elections when it secured 37 percent of the vote.
The biggest surprise in the elections was the gain made by the extreme rightist Herut Party and the severe loss suffered by the Centrist General Zionists. The Herut Party jostled the General Zionists out of second place into fourth. It picked up about 12 percent of the vote and became the second strongest party. Four years ago the Herut won only six percent of the vote.
The General Zionist Party, which obtained 16 percent of the votes in the last elections, emerged with only about 10 percent this time. It came in behind the Religious Front–the Mizrachi and Mizrachi Laborites–which received slightly over ten percent.
Other parties trailed the General Zionists in the following order: the Socialist Achdut Avodah, about 8 percent; left-wing Mapam Party, about 8 percent; Agudas Israel, 5 percent; Progressives, 4 percent, and the Communist Party just under 4 percent.
In the municipal elections, which took place simultaneously, the Mapai in Tel Aviv was reported is having increased its lead over the General Zionists who have held the post of mayor for decades. The evening papers reported that Golda Myerson, candidate of the Mapai, may become the Mayor of Tel Aviv with the support of a coalition among the Mapai, Mizrachi groups and Agudas Israel.
In Haifa, the Mapai won 8 seats in the municipality, the General Zionists 3, Herut 2, Achdut Avodah 2, while the Religious Bloc, Agudah, Communist Party and Sephardic group secured one seat each.
NEW PARLIAMENT TO OPEN ON AUGUST 16; SHARETT ON LEAVE
Without waiting for the final results, a date was today fixed for the opening of the new Parliament. The Knesset will open on August 16 and will elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, after which it will adjourn until after the High Holidays. Premier Sharett has, in the meantime, left on a short vacation. Upon his return, negotiations will be started for the formation of a new Cabinet.
One Arab was killed and 16 others were wounded in Tamra in Upper Galilee when two feuding Arab families clashed outside the polling station yesterday. As nearly as could be determined, the fighting broke out over politics. A number of other, minor clashes were reported from other Arab villages.
(In New York the Jewish Telegraphic Agency offices were taxed to capacity this morning as hundreds of calls requesting information on the progress of the elections in Israel poured in. Special arrangements were made to process calls and distribute the information as returns from the Israel voting came in.)