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David Ben-Gurion campaigning for Mapai before the election, 20 January 1949
Israel

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Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held in newly-independent Israel on 25 January, 1949. Voter turnout was 85.8%. Two days after its first meeting on 14 February, 1949, legislators voted to change the name of the body to the Knesset (Hebrew: כנסת, translated as Assembly). It is known today as the First Knesset.

Contents

Results

Party Votes % Seats at start of session Seats at end of session
Mapai 155,274 35.7% 46 46
Mapam ¹ 64,018 14.7% 19 20
United Religious Front 52,982 12.2% 16 16
Herut ² 49,782 11.5% 14 12
General Zionists 22,661 5.2% 7 7
Progressive Party 17,786 4.1% 5 5
Sephardim and Oriental Communities 15,287 3.5% 4 4
Maki ¹ 15,148 3.5% 4 3
Democratic List of Nazareth 7,387 1.7% 2 2
Fighters' List 5,363 1.2% 1 1
WIZO 5,173 1.2% 1 1
Yemenite Association 4,399 1.0% 1 1
Workers Bloc 3,214 0.7% 0 0
Brit HaTzohar 2,892 0.7% 0 0
Ultra-orthodox List 2,835 0.7% 0 0
Popular Arab Bloc 2,812 0.6% 0 0
Working and Religious Women 2,796 0.6% 0 0
Yitzhak Gruenbaum List 2,514 0.6% 0 0
United List of Religious Workers 1,280 0.3% 0 0
For Jerusalem 842 0.2% 0 0
Traditional Judaism List 239 0.1% 0 0
Total valid votes 434,684 100% 120 120
Hebrew Communists ¹ - - 0 0
Ari Jabotinsky ² - - 0 1
Hillel Kook ² - - 0 1

¹ Eliezer Preminger left Maki and created the Hebrew Communists before deciding to join Mapam

² Ari Jabotinsky and Hillel Kook, both associated with the Bergson Group in the United States, broke away from Herut; they were not recognised as a separate party by the speaker, however.

The First Knesset

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First government

The first government was formed by David Ben-Gurion, on 8 March, 1949. His Mapai party formed a coalition with the United Religious Front, the Progressive Party, the Sephardim and Oriental Communities and the Democratic List of Nazareth, and there were 12 ministers. Yosef Sprinzak of Mapai was appointed as the speaker.

The trend of political instability in Israel was started when Ben-Gurion resigned on 15 October, 1950 over disagreements with the United Religious Front on education in the new immigrant camps and the religious education system, as well as demands that the Supply and Rationing Ministry be closed and a businessman appointed as Minister for Trade and Industry.

Second government

Ben Gurion formed a second government on 1 November, 1950 with the same coalition partners as previously, though there was a slight reshuffle in his cabinet; David Remez moved from the Transportation ministry to Education, replacing Zalman Shazar (who was left out of the new cabinet), whilst Dov Yosef replaced Remez as Minister of Transportation. Ya'akov Geri was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry despite not being a Member of the Knesset. There was also a new Deputy Minister in the Transportation ministry.

The door was opened for the elections for the second knesset when the government resigned on 14 February, 1951 after the Knesset had rejected the Minister of Education and Culture's proposals on the registration of schoolchildren.

See also

External links


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