Kol Withdraws from Elections

Moshe Kol, veteran leader of the Independent Liberal Party, announced that he will not stand for re-election to the Knesset on May 17. His place at the head of the ILP list went to his Cabinet colleague. Minister-Without-Portfolio Gideon Hausner, who was selected in a secret ballot by the ILP’s newly elected Central Committee at the close of its convention here.

But Kol, who serves as Minister of Tourism in the coalition government of Premier Yitzhak Rabin, made it clear that his retirement from the Knesset does not mean he is ending his political career and does not preclude his serving in a future government. Israel law does not require a Cabinet minister to sit in the Knesset.

Kol withdrew from the elections apparently because of dissension within ILP ranks and demands by some party members for "new faces." He said his future involvement in ILP affairs would depend on a changed atmosphere in the party. Itzhak Golan, another ILP MK of many years, has also withdrawn from the election list. He said he acted to make way for younger members. The ILP holds only four seats in the present Knesset.

Meanwhile, the Labor Party suffered another defection when Mordechai Ben Porat, a Knesset member for 12 years, announced that he was leaving the party because he could not support its platform plank calling for territorial concessions in "all sectors" in exchange for peace. The plank was inserted at the insistence of Mapam.

Ben Porat, a supporter of former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, said he might join an opposition party or form a new party in association with others. He will complete his present Knesset term, however, as a one-man faction under the title Yachdav (Together).

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