JERUSALEM (Jan. 7)
This city’s municipal election of last November was invalidated here today by a magistrate who found irregularities in the very polling precinct where President Ishak Ben-Zvi had cast his vote.
This was the second case of invalidation of a municipal election in two days. Yesterday, a district Judge at Rehovot ruled that the municipal elections there were null and said, because he had found evidence of bribery among residents of a transit camp who had voted for the ticket of the National Religious Party. As a result, Rehovot’s Mayor Abraham Kats announced he was stepping down from his post.
Today’s ruling, in this city, affected the dominant Mapai Party. The General Zionists, who were four votes short for receiving a seat in the Municipal Council, called for a recount, asserting that 50 envelopes in the voting precinct had been rejected in the tabulation because the envelopes had not been stamped by the election committee. The envelopes, including some votes from Israeli soldiers, were found to include five votes in favor of General Zionists. According to the later party’s leaders, the voter who cast the contested ballots had been told by the precinct’s election committee that the stamps were not necessary.
While the Government will appoint an interim municipal council to replace the short-lived coalition council now ruled out of office, negotiations were begun to get the General Zionists to accept one council seat that would be surrendered by Mapai. Under the law, a new elections, must be held in 30 days. The general political consensus is opposed to new elections, which could cost the Government and the various parties a total of about 1, 000, 000 pounds.