JERUSALEM (Jul. 1)
The Mapam party took a long step today toward becoming a full-fledged member of the national coalition government. The party’s political committee voted 37-26 to recommend acceptance of the two ministerial portfolios–immigrant absorption and health–that have been held open for it since the government was formed late last year. At that time Mapam, a member of the Labor Alignment, refused to accept ministerial responsibilities on the grounds that it could not be a partner in the same coalition with the rightist, nationalist Gahal faction. Mapam stipulated that it would accept collective responsibility only in foreign affairs and defense matters. But the party’s Secretary General, Meir Yaari, said today that “changes have taken place as a result of the political and security situations.” A final decision will be made by the party’s central committee which is expected to meet within the next few days. The two portfolios assigned to Mapam are being administered on a temporary basis by Shimon Peres, acting Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Haim Gvati, acting Health Minister.