Dmc Uncertain About Future, Senses ‘signals’ from Labor in Histadrut, Likud in Government

Prof. Yigael Yadin’s Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) faces an uncertain future following its weak showing in Tuesday’s Histadrut elections where it garnered a disappointing 8.2 percent of the votes. The Labor Alignment’s clear majority deprived it of the pivotal role that it sought. Had Labor done less well, it would have needed an alliance with Yadin’s party to continue to control the trade union federation. As matters stand, the Alignment can do very well by itself.

Nevertheless, DMC circles said today that they sensed “signals” from Labor suggesting cooperation in Histadrut. At the same time, Likud continues its low key wooing of the DMC to get it to join the coalition government. The DMC Secretariate met last night to ponder the situation and the question of resuming coalition talks with Likud was raised. The DMC was said to be considering a Histadrut alliance with Labor and a government partnership with Likud–a peculiar fence-straddling condition inasmuch as the DMC is closer to Likud than Labor on economic issues and closer to Labor on matters of foreign policy.

On the other hand, observers noted that such a dual alliance by the DMC would strengthen Labor in Histadrut and strengthen Likud in the Knesset and might cause each of the two major parties to modify their policies.

3 MINISTRIES OPEN

Likud has left three ministries open for the DMC but Premier Menachem Begin warned in his Knesset speech that they would remain vacant no longer than 4-5 weeks. Likud leaders do not want to call for resumed coalition negotiations with the DMC until they are assured of a favorable response. But Begin’s party has been making informal approaches through emissaries.

At the DMC’s Secretariate meeting it was pointed out that the disappointing results of the Histadrut elections were not in themselves sufficient cause to reverse the decision not to join the Likudled coalition under existing conditions. It was made clear that talks could be resumed only if conditions changed, meaning Likud concessions on foreign policy matters. So far, these have not been offered. But some circles believe that the time is ripe for renewed DMC-Likud contacts and that the DMC may soon be ready for them.

Late today it was learned that Begin and Yadin had a private meeting today. Neither of the participants would reveal what was said between them but it is believed that the resumption of Likud-DMC negotiations must have been discussed.

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