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Katzir Concludes Talks on Elections

President Ephraim Katzir concluded his talks today with representatives of the various political parties and factions in Israel on whether he should try to name someone to attempt to put together a majority in the Knesset. A spokesman for the President told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that during the weekend Katzir will consider his next move based on whether the Knesset has voted to dissolve itself.

The Knesset, meanwhile, approved on first reading six bills yesterday to dissolve the Knesset and schedule an early election. The bills were sent to the Law and Constitution Committee. Although the bills carried various dates for a new election, the election date is expected to be May 17, the day reportedly agreed upon by the Labor Alignment and the opposition Likud.

Once an election date is set the present government will automatically assume a caretaker role and Katzir’s efforts will be suspended. Likud leader Menachem Beigin suggested yesterday that the law be changed so that the President could continue his efforts to find someone to head a majority government even if the Knesset is dissolved and an election is scheduled.

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