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Ben Gurion’s Party Drops Proposal to Advance National Elections in Israel

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The proposal to advance the national elections in Israel from November 17 to the middle of September, to shorten the period of Israel’s caretaker Government, was dropped today by Mapai, the party of Premier David Ben Gurion which originally sponsored the proposal. The Mapai action was explained by the fact that it became clear that no majority could be mustered for the proposal in Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.

However, the House Committee of the Knesset decided today to recommend that the elections be held on November 3 instead of November 17, At the same time it was learned today that the Government will propose to the Knesset deferring the municipal elections for one year and amending the municipal election law to enable mayors to be elected by popular vote. Mayors are now chosen or elected by the members of the municipal council.

The talks which President Itzhak Ben Zvi has been conducting with leaders of various political groups regarding the formation of a new Cabinet were concluded today. The last groups to be consulted today were the three Arab factions within the Knesset and the Communist Party. All indications were that no new Cabinet could be formed and that the old Cabinet, which officially resigned, would remain as a caretaker government until after the November national elections.

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