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Mayors Kollek of Jerusalem, Lahat of Tel Aviv Are Retiring

The charismatic mayors of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv both say they are stepping down.

Teddy Kollek, 81, and Shlomo (“Cheech”) Lahat, 65, said Monday they will not seek re-election next year.

Kollek has been in office 27 years and Lahat 19.

The Jerusalem mayor, however, has agreed to postpone his official announcement for two months to allow the Labor Party to choose a candidate as his successor in the high-visibility post.

Kollek backs his deputy, Amos Mar-Haim, for the job, which involves sensitive relations with the Arab population of East Jerusalem and administration of a city sacred to three religions. But Labor fears Likud might field a strong candidate, such as Ariel Sharon or Ehud Olmert, who would be hard to defeat with a relative unknown like Mar-Haim.

The mayor, however, made clear to Labor leaders on Monday that he is firm in his decision not to run again, a spokesman for Kollek said.

Lahat, a maverick Likudnik, called a news conference Monday to announce he would not seek a sixth term in the November 1993 elections. He said public officials should know when it is time to go home.

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