TEL AVIV (Aug. 23)
The counting of the votes cast by members of Israel’s armed forces in the national elections of last week was completed today, and the Central Election Committee tonight officially announced the distribution of the 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, on the basis of the complete election results.
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party was apportioned 42 seats in the Fifth Knesset, as against the 47 it held in the last Knesset. The Liberal party, formed by the merger earlier this year of the General Zionist and Progressive parties, won 17 seats, compared with the 14 held by both parties in the previous Knesset. Herut retained its 17 seats.
The National Religious Party was allotted 12 seats, the same number it held in the last House, while Agudah and Poalei Agudah retained a total of six seats. Mapam held on to its nine seats, while Ahdut Avodah was allotted eight seats, one more than it had in the last Knesset. The Communists increased their strength to five seats from the three they had in the previous Knesset, while the Arab lists won four seats compared with the five they had previously.
Mapai secured 43 percent of the Army vote, while Herut followed with 18 percent. The remainder of the Army vote went to the Liberals, with 11 percent; Ahdut Avodah, 10 percent; Mapam, 9 percent; and the National Religious Party, 5.9 percent. There were almost no Communist votes cast by Army personnel.
The first statement about the future coalition, after the election results were made public, came from Agriculture Minister Moshe Dayan who told a group of “Young Mapai” members he would like to see a continuation of the leftist coalition. He explained that it was part of Mapai’s present trend to seek a labor coalition, leaving the opposition to the right-wing groups. Regarding the “Lavon Affair,” Mr. Dayan said the party would do better not to dwell too long on the past.
The Agriculture Minister’s statement, while expressing his own opinions, reflects the views of several circles within Mapai who differ with Premier Ben-Gurion on this question. Mr. Ben-Gurion is said to be against a renewed coalition of Mapai and the leftist parties of Mapam and Ahdut Avodah.