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S. African Government Urged to Shift 1970 Election Date from Passover

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Two South African Jewish weeklies have appealed editorially to the Government to change the scheduled date of the 1970 general elections from April 22 because it conflicts with Passover. The appeals were published in the South African Jewish Times and the Jewish Herald.

The conflict was previously brought to the Government’s attention by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies which asked for a change and pointed out how the conflict would affect Jewish voters, candidates and election workers. Their memorandum so far has elicited a statement from Prime Minister John Vorster expressing regret that the election date was fixed entirely in ignorance of the Jewish calendar. Both newspapers and the Board of Deputies condemned efforts by the opposition parties to make political capital out of the situation.

Government officials said that the Prime Minister had discussed the problem with Chief Rabbi Bernard Casper and that the Chief Rabbi had accepted the Prime Minister’s explanation. They noted also that the senior rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation here, Rabbi A.H. Lappin. has said that Jews would be able to vote after sunset on election day without violating Jewish Religious Law.

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