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Ben Gurion Entrusted by Israel President with Formation of Cabinet

David Ben Gurion was requested today by Israel President Itzhak Ben Zvi to undertake the formation of a new Cabinet. He told the President that he would “make every possible effort” to undertake this task, but that he doubted whether he would succeed. It was considered certain that the present caretaker government would continue to function until after the November national elections since no new Cabinet is likely to be formed.

Premier Ben Gurion indicated to the President that he was not keen on presiding over a Cabinet in which the four members of the Mapam and Achdut Avodah will participate. “Legal experts told me the law obliges me to continue to be a member of this government until a new one is established although it contains members who transgress the law of collective responsibility and violate the clear obligation they took before entering the government.” he told President Ben Zvi.

Popular interest in the Cabinet crisis was fading as it became clear that the crisis would be solved in the only way possible under the circumstances–the continuation of the present Cabinet as a caretaker government until the national elections in November. The question that was still of interest among the population was whether Premier Ben Gurion would attend the meetings of the caretaker government, or would deputize the Finance Minister, Levi Eshkol, to chair the meetings until a new coalition Cabinet is formed after the national elections.