Likud officials reject rotating coalition power with Kadima
MK Shalom: Arrangement works only with tie, here victory is clear; Sheetrit: Stop experimenting on state.
Likud officials on Wednesday rejected the possibility of rotating coalition authority between party leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, after a tight election race left the two parties practically neck-to-neck.
Israel last saw a rotating coalition in 1984 under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres, and Kadima on Tuesday proposed the same arrangement for the coming government.
Likud members, however, said there was no chance of such an agreement considering that the right-wing bloc carried 65 seats compared to only 55 for the center-left.
"There won't be a rotation," MK Silvan Shalom told Army Radio on Wednesday. "That method is chosen when there is a 60-60 balance between the blocs, and that just is not the case now ? the victory is clear."
Kadima Minister Meir Sheetrit also said that an arrangement of "two years for Livni and two years for Bibi [Netanyahu]" would be problematic. "A rotation is a bad thing, a kind of experiment to square out the round in a way that generally cannot succeed. I suggesting we stop experimenting on the state."
Benny Begin, a candidate for the Knesset on Likud's list, said he would rather a wide coalition including Kadima and Labor be formed, rather than forging a smaller government with Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman.
"There is no chance in the foreseeable future of reaching an agreement with our Arab neighbors, so it therefore possible to form an expanded government on the basis of more narrow foundational lines.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu is set to meet with Lieberman later Wednesday to discuss the possibility of a future coalition. The two spoke by phone immediately following the release of exit poll results. Likud also conversed by phone with the leaders of the other right-wing parties, including Bayit Hayehudi's Daniel Herskovitz and Shas' Eli Yishai.