JERUSALEM (Nov. 11)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s Mapai-Achdut Avoda alignment won a total of 45 seats in the balloting for the sixth Knesset (Parliament), according to the official election returns announced here last night by Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau, chairman of the National Election Committee. In the last Knesset, the alignment had 41 seats.
Based on the official returns, the Herut-Liberal (Gahal) list was alloted 26 seats, compared with 27 in the last House; the National Religious Party, 11 seats compared with 12 in the last Knesset; Ben-Gurion’s Israel Worker’s List (Rafi), 10; Mapam, 8, compared with 9 in the last Knesset; Independent Liberals, 5; Agudat Israel, 4; the pro-Arab Communists, 3; Poalei Agudat Israel, 2; the two Mapai-affiliated Arab lists, 2 each; the pro-Israel Communists, 1; and Haolam Hazeh, 1.
Justice Landau said that 1,244,706 Israelis, representing 83 percent of the eligible voters, cast ballots in last week’s elections, and that 37,978 votes were declared invalid. The allotment of seats was based on a distribution of 9,881 votes per seat.
Mr. Eshkol is considering a new coalition Cabinet of 18 Ministers, compared with 16 in the outgoing Cabinet, following the agreement by the opposition Mapam party to discuss joining the next coalition, the newspaper Davar, the Histadrut organ, reported today, The enlarged Cabinet would be made up of 10 Mapai representatives, two from Achdut Avodah, three from the National Religious Party, two from Mapam, and one Independent Liberal.
The new Knesset will convene November 22 and the Premier reportedly wants to have a new coalition ready for Knesset consideration by that date. Few personnel changes were expected in the new Cabinet; Dov Joseph, the outgoing Justice Minister, was expected to be named an Ambassador, with his portfolio slated to be offered to the Independent Liberals.