Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Netanyahu to form Israel cabinet

Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the right-of-centre Likud party, will be asked to form Israel’s next government.
President Shimon Peres had been trying to persuade Israel’s main parties to form a power-sharing government.
But Tzipi Livni, leader of the centrist Kadima, suggested she would rather be in opposition than join a government led by Mr Netanyahu.
The Likud leader has the support of religious and right-wing parties in the Israeli parliament.
Kadima narrowly defeated Likud in the election held on 10 February, but Likud’s wider backing put them in a stronger position to form a new government.
Mr Netanyahu’s position was bolstered on Thursday when the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, which came third in the election, said it wanted him to be prime minister.
Mr Peres has been in talks with leaders from all political parties, and correspondents say he had been trying to garner support for a power-sharing government involving both Mr Netanyahu and Ms Livni.
But minutes before the news came out that the Likud leader would be asked to form a government, Ms Livni released a statement saying what was being proposed was a government “without political vision, a government with no values”.
“I will not be a pawn in a government that would be against our ideals,” she said.
Mr Peres is due to officially ask Mr Netanyahu to form a government shortly.
He will then have six weeks to sew together a coalition, and could yet try to persuade Ms Livni to join him.

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