Committee proposes March 28 for vote

Sa'ar, Sneh agree on late March date for parliamentary elections.

A joint Labor-Likud meeting of teams appointed to negotiate a date for the upcoming elections decided Sunday morning to recommend Tuesday March 28 as the best choice for holding the long-anticipated vote. The Likud team, led by coalition chairman Gideon Sa'ar, and the Labor team, headed up by party whip Ephraim Sneh, hammered out the agreement while meeting for the first time on Sunday morning at Sa'ar's Tel Aviv home. The dates being considered included Tuesdays March 21 and 28, or - in a break from the tradition of holding the election on a Tuesday - Monday March 6. Following the meeting, Sa'ar was charged with the task of convincing all of the other participants to agree to the late March date. Last Thursday, Labor Chairman Amir Peretz announced following his morning meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that early elections would not be held on March 7 as hoped. The decision was made to choose another date, as the national memorial day for soldiers whose burial places are unknown falls out on March 7 this year. Agudat Yisrael MK Meir Porush had requested that March 21 not be chosen because thousands of Hassidim are expected to visit Poland on that date to visit the grave of the Hassidic Rabbi Elimelech of Lizensk on the anniversary of his death.