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Eshkol Hopes to Present Coalition Cabinet to Parliament on Monday

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Premier Levi Eshkol was reported today to be still hoping to present a new coalition Cabinet to Parliament on Monday but it remained uncertain whether he would present a small coalition or a broader one.

His choice was between a narrow coalition of his Mapai-Achdut Avoda alignment, plus Mapam and the Independent Liberals, commanding only 62 of the 120 Knesset seats; or a broader coalition including the 11 votes of the National Religious Party.

Difficulties with the National Religious Party over its demand for religious concessions as conditions for joining the coalition continued. These included a demand for enactment of a general Sabbath bill, which died in the fifth Knesset, and prohibition of Sabbath work in the new port of Ashdod. The present coalition, of which the National Religious Party is a member, is serving as a caretaker Government, pending formation of a new coalition required by the general elections last November 2.

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