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Mapam Considering Joining Coalition Government As Full Members with Portfolios

The Mapam Party council is considering the possibility of Joining the coalition government as full members with cabinet responsibilities, it was learned today. Although a member of the Labor Alignment, Mapam has hitherto refused to accept the portfolios of health and immigrant absorption ear-marked for it when Premier Golda Meir formed her coalition government late last year. Mapam’s refusal was based on its ideological differences with Gahal, the right-wing nationalist faction which is the second largest party in the government. But party leaders now say that in view of the situation, Mapam can take over its cabinet responsibilities. The Ministry of Health portfolio was to go to the late Israel Barzilai who died last week. The party council is now considering the appointment of someone else to take the post. Mr. Barzilai had served in the government as a minister-without-portfolio.