Just hours after setting plans in motion to move the next Israeli national elections up to September 4, the two largest politcal parties instead teamed up in massive unity government that keeps elections set for 2013. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party reached a deal with Shaul Mofaz, the leader of the opposition Kadima party.
Likud and Kadima are the two largest parties by far in the current government, combining to account for almost half of the seats in the 120-seat Knesset (Israeli parliament). The 55-seats claimed by the groups should easily keep a coalition together until the original election date set for the second half of 2013.
As part of the deal, Haaretz reported that Mofaz will get a position in the government’s cabinet. Recently elected to the leadership of Kadima, Mofaz’s addition to the ruling bloc raises interesting questions for the direction of the Knesset. He has called for going further in the peace process with the Palestinians. As a former general, he also brings another extensive military background to the government.
(By Staff, www.themideastupdate.com, May 7, 2012)