Last Minute Unity Government Removes Need for Election (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 05/08/12)
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In a surprise move, just hours after the Knesset approved the first
reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz
announced they had reached an agreement to form a national unity
According to a report on Kol Yisrael radio, the Likud and Kadima
parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both
factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and
Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed
either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a
position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).
It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and
Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the
army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head
a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.
In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the
end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the
parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli
system of governemnt will be put to a vote. According to reports, the
talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.
A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has
gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid´s party, as he
will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in
order to run.
A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to
all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election.
Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On called the unity government agreement
a "dirty trick".
"The prime minister wants to avoid elections and the opposition
leader is desperate and headed towards a crash," she said. "This is a
disgrace to the Israeli parliament and a terrible message to the
public, who is losing all faith in the country´s leadership."
MK Danny Danon announced that he opposes the move to establish a
joint coalition with Kadima, and said he has approached Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the issue.
“The move will ensure that Barak remains as defense minister for
another year and a half, and will drop the leftist party called known
as Kadima into the government,” said Danon. “It will damage the
settlement enterprise, hurt the values of the Likud and will hurt the
Israeli public who elected the Likud to lead Israel.”
He added, “We must not abandon the Likud’s natural partners. The move
will give an oxygen tank to the political corpse called Kadima and
will move the coalition from the right towards the center.”
Labor Party Chairwoman MK Shelly Yechimovich also condemned the newly
formed unity government and called it “an alliance of cowards.”
In a message posted to her Facebook page, Yechimovich wrote, “This is
the most ridiculous and ludicrous zigzag in the history of Israel. No
one will forget this dirty deal, which will, unfortunately, deeply
hurt the public´s trust in politics. In light of the final burial of
Kadima, we have been given a rare and important opportunity to lead
to the opposition, and we will do this with energy and faith. The
2013 budget led by Netanyahu and Kadima´s corpse will be a difficult
budget for the citizens of Israel, and we will fight it.”
With Kadima joining the coalition, Labor will become the largest
party in the opposition and as such Yechimovich will become leader of
the opposition. However, with Kadima´s 28 seats, the opposition will
consist of only 26 MKs.
Interior Minister and Shas chairman Eli Yishai welcomed the
agreement. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/08/12)
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