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Israel's Netanyahu to start talks on forming new government on Sunday

English.news.cn   2013-02-03 21:02:49            

JERUSALEM, Fab. 3 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party will hold talks Sunday with members of different parties in a bid to form a new government following the Jan. 22 elections.

The talks are to be held between the parties supporting Netanyahu and willing to join his coalition and the ruling Likud- Beytenu list, which got 31 seats out of a total of 120 seats in the Knesset.

The talks will kick off officially on Sunday afternoon, with the Likud members meeting with members from the Yesh Atid Party, led by Yair Lapid and won 19 seats in the elections. Then Likud members will meet with representatives with the far-right Habayit Hayeudi (Jewish Home) members.

Last but not least, members of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party will discuss their demands with representatives of the ruling party.

Talks are set to continue on Monday with Likud representatives meeting up with members of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, Tzipi Livni's center party and Kadima.

On Saturday, Israeli President Shimon Peres tasked Netanyahu with forming the next coalition after 82 members of the elected 19th Knesset recommended him for the task. Netanyahu stressed that he's looking to form the "widest possible national unity government" in order to deal with the challenges Israel is currently facing.

Although Netanyahu is interested in seating the ultra-Orthodox members in his government, he might have difficulties with that as the secular Yesh Atid party demands drafting ultra-Orthodox seminary students to the military. These students had been exempted from such a service until the exemption law expired recently.

Netanyahu now has 28 days to form his next coalition. If he fails to do so by then, he can ask for a 14-day extension from the president.

Editor: Yang Lina
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