Peres starts consultations on forming new Israeli gov't
www.chinaview.cn 2009-02-19 05:38:59   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

Peres began consultations with Knesset factions ahead of selecting next premier candidate.
The consultations with all the 12 Knesset factions will end on Friday.
Peres will summon either Livni or Netanyahu and task one of them with forming new gov't.

    JERUSALEM, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres began on Wednesday evening his consultations with Knesset (parliament) factions ahead of selecting the next premiership candidate, and met with a Kadima delegation.

    The meeting came shortly after Peres was presented with the official results of last week's general election from the Central Election Committee (CEC).

    Upon being presented with the results by the CEC chairman, Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, Peres told the committee members that he was certain "a blessed partnership" would be formed, expressing his confidence that Israeli leaders would have the country's best interests in mind throughout the process.

    After the Kadima meeting, the president will then consult with a Likud delegation, in order to decide whether to charge Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu or Foreign Minister and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni with the task of building a coalition.

    Final results of Israel's parliamentary election on Thursday delivered a slim majority of the centrist party Kadima over its main rival center-right party Likud.

    The final tally, released by CEC, confirmed that Kadima secured 28 seats in the Knesset election, while Likud took 27 seats in the 120-member parliament.

    However, altogether, right-wing bloc led by Likud secured 65 seats, enjoying a clear superiority over the center-left bloc led by Kadima.

    On Thursday, Peres is expected to meet with several factions, including Balad, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, Labor, Hadash, National Union and United Torah Judaism.

    The consultations with all the 12 Knesset factions will end on Friday after Peres meets with representatives of Meretz and Habayit Hayehudi.

    Following the consultations, Peres will summon either Livni or Netanyahu to his office and task one of them with forming the new government.

    By Israel's basic laws, the first premier-designate has at most 42 days to form a new government. Should the process fail, the president may entrust the task to a second lawmaker, who then has 28 days to finish the mission. In case of another failure, a third lawmaker might be tasked with a 14-day time limit.

    In light of the right-wing bloc's majority, Netanyahu appears to face a brighter cabinet-making picture than Livni.

    Late last year, Livni failed to piece together a cabinet to replace the caretaker one led by Ehud Olmert, bringing forth the general election a year ahead of its original schedule.

    Until the new government is formed, Olmert, who was forced to resign amid a corruption scandal, will remain in office. 


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Editor: Mu Xuequan
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