Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: Last Minute Unity Government Agreement Between PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Opposition, Kadima Leader MK Shaul Mofaz Removes Need for Election



Last Minute Unity Government Removes Need for Election

PM Netanyahu and Opposition leader Mofaz form a unity government, removing the need for elections.
Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012

Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012

Just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, it appears as though no early elections will be held.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz have reached an agreement to form a national unity government.

According to the report, the Likud and Kadima parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).

It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.

In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli system of governemtn will be put to a vote. According to reports, the talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.

A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid’s party, as he will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in order to run.

A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election….READ MORE

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