Ninth Knesset Splits on Party Lines

The ninth Knesset was sworn in yesterday and split sharply along party lines in its first vote. The balloting was for the new Speaker to replace veteran MK Israel Yeshayahu who has retired from parliament.

The victor, Itzhak Shamir of Likud, got the 61 votes of his party and the religious factions. The Labor Alignment candidate, Shlomo Hillel, received the Alignment’s 32 votes and Benjamin Halevy, nominated by the Democratic Movement for Change, got its 15 votes plus one from Gideon Hausner, the MK of the Independent Liberal Party.

The Communist Party backed its candidate, Meir Wilner, with its four votes. Dr. Zerach Warhaftig, dean of the Knesset, presided at the inaugural session. After the voting he called on Shamir to take over. President Ephraim Katzir who attended the opening, greeted the new Knesset and wished it well.

NEXT STORY