JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)
Premier Yitzhak Rabin submitted his resignation to President Ephraim Katzir shortly before midnight tonight. He went to the President’s residence following a Cabinet meeting at which the Labor Alignment approved his course of action. The Premier’s resignation is tantamount to the resignation of the entire Cabinet which now constitutes a caretaker government pending elections.
Rabin made the move apparently to offset a no confidence vote in the Knesset tomorrow, A canvas of the various independent and splinter factions indicated that the Labor Alignment could not count on their support and would be unseated. In view of Rabin’s resignation, Likud will withdraw its no confidence motion.
Earlier today, the Labor Alignment approved Rabin’s recommendation to advance the elections originally scheduled to be held late next year. But the two Independent Liberal ministers, Moshe Kola and Gideon Hauser, tendered their resignations rather than participate in a caretaker government from which ministers are not permitted to resign under law. Their resignations will not become effective for 48 hours and they are expected to remain in the Cabinet as non-participating members.
Katzir may ask another Knesset member to form a new government. But he will have to consult with leaders of the various parties in the Knesset before he can entrust the formation of a new government to any one of them. The Knesset has the option of dissolving itself and setting an early date for elections.