Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Livni to Lieberman: This is an opportunity for unity

Posted by Andrea Pompozzi su 11 febbraio, 2009

Feb. 11, 2009
gil hoffman and jpost.com staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

Following Tuesday night’s general election, apparently won by Kadima leader Tzipi Livni but in which the right-wing bloc emerged as the largest, coalition talks started swiftly, with Livni holding talks with Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu meeting Shas leader Eli Yishai.

Livni told Lieberman that the election results had presented a chance for a national unity government.

“This is an opportunity for unity in which we can advance issues that are also important to you,” Livni said to the Israel Beiteinu chairman. The two agreed to meet again.

Speaking to his faction following the meeting, Lieberman stressed the need for the swift formation of a new government “that can make decisions.” He went on to say that “the country has been paralyzed for six months with municipal elections, [general] elections and now with forming the government. Such a government cannot deal with the burning economic and security issues,” he said.

Lieberman didn’t rule out joining a coalition led by Livni, stating that he was “checking [both Livni’s and Netanyahu’s] stances on the issues we care about,” and reiterating Israel Beiteinu’s ambition to “contribute to forming a government as soon as possible.”

“We will try to do everything so that the people of Israel can look forward to a better future,” he added.

Before the meeting, Livni told reporters that the public had chosen Kadima, and so she should form the next government.

Meanwhile, Yishai and Netanyahu agreed to work for the establishment of a broad coalition based on the nationalist camp.

Earlier Wednesday, Kadima and Likud MKs dismissed suggestions of a leadership rotation, as there was between Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres in 1984.

Netanyahu appointed eminent lawyer and former justice minister Prof. Yaakov Ne’eman to head Likud’s coalition negotiation team, while Livni chose Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi – veteran political negotiators – to head the talks on behalf of Kadima.

MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) told Army Radio that rotation was “a bad thing.”

“It is a kind of attempt to square the circle which usually doesn’t work,” he said. “I suggest refraining from performing tricks at the country’s expense.”

Sheetrit told Israel Radio that a right-wing government led by Netanyahu wouldn’t be able to function and would fall within a short time.

He said he believed a Livni-led unity government, with Likud and Labor, would be the better option.

MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) also expressed his opposition to a prime ministerial rotation.

“There won’t be a rotation,” Shalom told Army Radio. “Such a method is only chosen when the balance of power between the [right-wing and left-wing] camps is 60-60. That is not the current situation – the victor is clear.”

Shalom told Israel Radio that it was clear Netanyahu would be the next prime minister, but he added that a unity government would be possible.

Ramon was clear on what shape the new government should take.

“A government based on the three large parties should be formed, and the very first thing it should do is change the electoral system,” he said in an interview with Army Radio.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, leader of Labor, which was predicted to gain a disappointing 13 mandates and be pushed down into fourth position, said in closed conversations that the party would sit in the opposition since that was the only way to return to power, various media outlets reported.

Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel said earlier Wednesday that the party required such a move in order to rebuild. He told Israel Radio, however, that there would be “neither witch-hunts nor will any heads roll.”

MK Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) expresses similar sentiments.

“There is no scenario in which Labor would be part of the coalition, and the few people within the party toying with the idea had better shelve it,” she said.

“The Israeli public had its say and placed Labor, for the first time in history, in fourth place. [The public] does not want us in the government. We must sit in the opposition, mature ideologically and return strengthened as a true and worthy ruling alternative,” added Yacimovich.

Another Laborite, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, told Army Radio that “someone should ask how Labor reached its current situation. We suffered a painful blow and need to be more attentive to our voters.”

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) claimed that the public wanted a balanced, joint Likud-Kadima government.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Dichter also said he found it difficult to see Lieberman joining Livni, Labor and Meretz in a new coalition.

“Livni needs to build the next government since she is head of the largest party,” Dichter added.

The public security minister also suggested amending the law so that the leader of the biggest party is always the one to form the coalition.

With 99.7 percent of the votes counted, Kadima was narrowly leading Likud with a predicted 28 mandates, while the latter had garnered a predicted 27 seats. Israel Beiteinu was expected to earn 15 mandates, Labor 13, Shas 11, United Arab List five, United Torah Judaism four, National Union four, Hadash four, Meretz three, Bayit Hayehudi three, and Balad two.

Following the heavy blow to his party, Meretz MK Avshalom (Abu) Vilan told Army Radio that he was disappointed by left-wing voters, “who couldn’t commit to one party.”

“It seems that the era of small parties in Israeli politics is over,” he added.

The final results, including votes from soldiers and emissaries abroad, will only be published on February 18.

President Shimon Peres will then begin coalition consultations with Knesset faction heads.

Beit Hanassi spokeswoman Ayelet Frish told Army Radio that until then, Peres would not be approached by any of the factions and would not deal in speculations.

“He will decide who to entrust with building a coalition according to the number of mandates and the candidate’s potential to form a government,” said Frish.




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