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Mapam Demand Third Minister in Gov’t.

Mapam’s Knesseters decided today that they would not take part in the Labor Alignment factions meetings unless and until Mapam’s demand for a third minister is met. Mapam complained that while the National Religious Party and the Independent Liberal Party increased their Cabinet representation, Mapam remained static with two ministers–and was therefore prejudiced. The NRP has 10 Knesset seats and four ministries, the ILP has four Knesset seats and two ministries, and Mapam has seven Knesset seats.

Mapam’s Secretary General Meir Talmi stressed that the party would do nothing to endanger the government, but on the other hand would refuse to cooperate with Labor in the alignment on normal Knesset business. Thus Mapam did not take part in an Alignment faction meeting today which recommended Yitzhak Navon (ex-Rafi) as chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee instead of Haim Zadok, the new Justice Minister.

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