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Likud-dmc Talks Still Stalled

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Negotiations are still going on for an arrangement that would induce Prof. Yigael Yadin’s Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) to join the Likud-led coalition government. But no progress in that direction was reported after today’s meeting here between Yadin and Premier Menachem Begin.

Yadin left the meeting saying that Begin had offered nothing new that would justify reversing the DMC’s decision a month ago not to join the coalition. The stumbling block seems to be the extent of electoral reforms, Yadin’s party’s key domestic issue. While the coalition apparently has accepted in principle a partial change-over to direct elections for the next Knesset, the DMC wants to divide the country into 16 electoral regions. The National Religious Party, Likud’s main coalition partner, insists on only six regions to avoid diluting its own constituency.

Begin said on a radio interview that Likud and the NRP were prepared to compromise on the number of regions. But the proposal he offered Yadin today was apparently not acceptable. Begin said he did not expect an immediate reply. Much will depend on the final stand of the NRP which was due to convene its party bodies tonight and the outcome of Yadin’s meeting with the DMC Council, also tonight.

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