Israeli politicians seek coalition ‘’savior after polls”

February 16th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Jerusalem, Feb.16 (ANI): Kadima leader and Israels Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Likud party chairman Binyamin Netanyahu expressed hope on Sunday that a “responsible adult” would intervene to build a new government in the country after both sides grew further apart. According to The Jerusalem Post, both Netanyahu and Livni called for the formation of a national unity government during the campaign.
However, both have been sparring over who should head it since last Tuesday’’s election, when Livni’’s Kadima won one more seat than Netanyahu’’s Likud but the Right bloc beat the Left by 10 mandates.
Names mentioned as possible saviors to break the deadlock included President Shimon Peres, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman and even US President Barack Obama, all of whom reportedly back the formation of a unity government.
Peres is expected to formally initiate efforts to form a new coalition after the final results of last Tuesday’’s election are published in the government registry no later than Wednesday.
He will meet with all factions to help determine whom they think he should entrust with forming a coalition, which he could do as early as Friday.
But it remains unclear to what extent Peres will push for a unity government and interfere in decisions about what coalition should be formed.
Lieberman is set to return from a vacation in Minsk on Wednesday morning, knowing that as the head of the third largest party, his recommendation to Peres holds considerable sway.
Sources close to Lieberman said he might form a government and then offer to help broker a deal between Netanyahu and Livni. The British Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted sources in Washington on Saturday who have discussed the Israeli political situation with members of Obama’’s team.
They said Obama was prepared to play a role behind the scenes to ensure that a unity government could be formed.
But that scenario is the least likely, because Obama would not want to be seen as interfering in the politics of a foreign country.
The impasse between Livni and Netanyahu intensified on Sunday when Livni said she would not join a government under his leadership and hinted that the least she would accept was a rotation whereby they would each serve as prime minister for two years.
But Netanyahu has made clear that to bring Kadima into a government led by him, he would offer anything except for the premiership itself. (ANI)

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