President Shimon Peres said that until he receives the official results of Tuesday's election, he is "hesitant to even discuss with myself the subject" of assigning one of the political leaders the responsibility of forming a government.

Speaking in Be'er Sheva yesterday, Peres said he intends to "heed the wishes of the people and the people have not said that something should be imposed.

"The people have told me to consider the election results fairly and by law," he continued, "and I will be able to make a decision only after I hear the parties. On Wednesday at 6 P.M. I will receive the official [election] results. Until then I am hesitant to even talk with myself about the subject, because I fear the matter will be leaked to the press."

The president also said the existing method of elections needs to be changed.

"The election method hurts the large parties and encourages the smaller ones, and as a result there is a plethora of parties - which leads to bargaining and lowers the standing of politics in the eyes of the public. I favor changing the election method. I think everyone wants to change the method. The election method in Israel punishes every large party."

Peres also offered an alternative method. "One of the possibilities is to change from a national election system to a regional one, and to raise the electoral threshold. In Israel it stands at two percent, whereas in Germany it is five percent. If we adopt a five percent minimum, our standing will be better and it will be possible to represent all views under a single large party, so I favor changing the election method."