JERUSALEM (Sep. 19)
Prof. Yigael Yadin declared today that coalition negotiations with Likud were terminated and his Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) would not “under the present circumstances,” be a part of the coalition government. He said the DMC was preparing for an active role as an opposition party.
Yadin reacted angrily at a Knesset press conference today to a statement by Premier Menachem Begin last week blaming the DMC for the deadlock in negotiations that had been going on intermittently since last summer. He accused Begin of supplying false information and half truths. He said that during the last round of talks that began 10 days ago, Likud retreated from its earlier offers on the two major issues–the Ministry for Social Betterment portfolio and electoral reform.
The latter was the essence of the DMC’s election campaign. The new party wants direct elections to the Knesset to replace the present system of party lists and proposed that the country be divided into 16 electoral districts for that purpose. It rejected a Likud compromise of 10 districts.
But according to Yadin, Begin’s latest proposal was to refer the matter to a ministerial committee that would work out an electoral reform “within a period of one to two years.” Yadin said “This was adding insult to injury because it was obvious from the composition of the committee that it would finally agree to 10 regions which we rejected in the first place.”