Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

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

Netanyahu closing in on the prime minister’s seat

Posted by claudiacampli su 20 febbraio, 2009

IHt

Friday, February 20, 2009

JERUSALEM: Benjamin Netanyahu looked poised to become Israel’s next prime minister after earning the endorsement on Thursday of Avigdor Lieberman, head of the far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu.

President Shimon Peres has yet to decide who should form Israel’s next government. After conferring with Peres, Lieberman expressed support for a government led by Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party but also urged that the government include Kadima, the centrist party led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Lieberman did not rule out participating in a narrow right-wing government, however, and that looked like a real possibility because Netanyahu had enough seats to set up such a coalition.

Lieberman said there were “three possibilities, from our point of view: A broad government, which is what we want; a narrow government, that will be a government of paralysis, but we don’t rule out sitting in it; and the third option is going to elections, which will achieve nothing.”

Livni, however, seemed uninterested in joining any government that she did not head, and told supporters on Thursday that Kadima would probably go into the opposition.

“Today, the foundation was laid for an extreme right-wing government led by Netanyahu,” she told party members. “This is not our way, and there is nothing for us in such a government.”

She added that she “would not serve as a fig leaf for a government of paralysis.”

Kadima favors continuing the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority that Livni has been leading, while Netanyahu believes that the talks have been largely fruitless and that emphasis should be placed on building the Palestinians’ institutions and economy.

Lieberman’s anti-Arab stands, including a demand that all Arab citizens sign a loyalty oath to the Jewish state, have alienated many in Livni’s party. It is widely felt that a government with Netanyahu and Lieberman in charge would be narrowly based and unstable and would find little favor in Washington, leading to another election before long.

Israel’s elections last week ended with Kadima edging past Likud to the top spot with 28 seats, compared with 27 for Likud and 15 for Lieberman’s party out of 120 seats in Parliament. A stable government needs a commitment of at least 61 seats. Netanyahu had 65 by day’s end from Lieberman’s party, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party Shas, with 11 seats, and several smaller religious parties.

Peres has consulted with all parties but was to meet again on Friday first with Netanyahu and then with Livni. All three want to see a broad, centrist coalition for the difficult decisions ahead — what to do about Gaza, the West Bank, Iran and the economy — but they cannot agree on what terms that coalition would come into being.

Peres is expected to announce his choice to form the coalition by Sunday or Monday. Since the parties to the left of Livni did not endorse her selection, she is in a weak position to get the nod.

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