Third Term for Ben-zvi Virtually Assured After Israeli Party Talks

The election of Izhak Ben-Zvi to a third term as President was virtually assured today by the results of several sessions between officials of the Mapai party and leaders of Herut, the Liberals and Mapam.

The only possible hitch was a slight possibility that the President would reverse himself again, and return to his initial indication that he preferred retirement to another term. Before leaving for his African tour, he had informed political leaders he would not be a candidate. But since returning from the tour, he has notified Mapai leaders that he would accept a third term.

Mapai has initiated efforts to seek agreement on Mr. Ben-Zvi’s re-election by acclamation, rather than by balloting. While Herut and the Liberals have not given a conclusive reply to that proposal, informed opinion was that they would not oppose it. Mapam leaders talked about a third term as “undemocratic,” and urged Mapai negotiators to find another candidate. However, the Mapam leaders refrained from taking a firm stand against the proposed third term.

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