Israel Cabinet Votes to Recommend Direct Election System for Mayors

The Israel Cabinet voted yesterday to recommend a change in the system of electing municipal mayors from indirect to direct elections. The Cabinet passed the measure after a heated dispute during which one Minister walked out, it was learned today.

Until now, Mayors have been elected by City Councillors who, themselves, are chosen on party lists and not on the basis of individual choice. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion sponsored the bill changing the system to direct elections. The bill was opposed by the leftist parties. Leading the opposition was Minister of the Interior Israel Bar Yehuda, of Achdut Avodah, who tried strenuously to line up support for his views, especially from the Progressive Party.

Before a vote was taken on the measure, Mr. Bar Yehuda and Mr. Ben Gurion exchanged heated arguments, and the Interior Minister walked out of the Cabinet meeting. The bill was passed, providing for a ministerial committee which will formulate new legislation to be presented to the Parliament.

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