JERUSALEM (May. 24)
A bill calling for the dissolution of the 10th Knesset and for elections next November 2 was introduced by the Shinui faction today. But chances are slim that it will come up for a vote during the current Knesset session and Shinui itself regards the measure as a trial balloon to test the intentions of the two major parties rather than a serious move toward early elections.
The small leftist party submitted the motion because the defection of two Likud MKs last week–Amnon Lin and Yitzhak Peretz — deprived Premier Menachem Begin of his one-vote parliamentary majority. Begin reportedly favors early elections on grounds that Likud would be returned to office with a decisive majority. At the moment, however, he is ardently courting the two-man Telem faction to replace Lin and Peretz in his coalition.
According to Knesset regulations, Shinui’s election bill cannot be brought to a vote for 60 days, unless the House Committee specifically waives the regulation. Even if that were to occur, the bill could not be voted on unless a majority of the Knesset plenum agreed. An election ill may be voted on only once during any Knesset session. If it were defeated it could not be raised again until the Knesset’s fall session.
FATE OF THE COALITION
The fate of Begin’s coalition now seems to ride on Telem, the faction founded last year by the late Moshe Dayan. Its institutions were scheduled to meet tonight to decide whether to negotiate with Likud. The Telem leadership met with Begin last week but reportedly only asked questions and received several offers.” The meeting was not regarded as “real negotiations.”
Meanwhile, the National Religious Party reportedly may drop its opposition to early elections The NRP, which lost four Knesset seats in the last elections, has been reluctant to go to the polls again for fear that its mandate might be reduced even more. But it is said to feel now that opposing new elections would further damage its image.