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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Netanyahu under pressure left and right

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 11:18:02 GMT | PressTV

Likud chairman
Benjamin Netanyahu
In another blow to Benjamin Netanyahu, two far-right Israeli parties have requested compensation for joining a Likud-led government.

The National Union and the Jewish Home parties warned the hawkish prime minister-designate that they would not join his coalition government unless he gave them their desired portfolios.

The warnings come as Netanyahu, under pressure to form a new government by next month, has failed to win the support of Kadima party and is witnessing his 'broad coalition' narrowing down gradually.

Israel's President Shimon Peres formally tasked Netanyahu with forming a new government following the February 10 elections in which Likud came second, one seat shy of center-left Kadima.

The two far-right parties together control only seven seats in the 120-member parliament. However, without them, Netanyahu will not have the 61 seats required for a majority in the chamber.

"I am not certain that Benjamin Netanyahu will have a majority since we have decided to coordinate our efforts with the Jewish Home," National Union head Yaakov Katz said.

The two parties draw most of their support from settlers and are reportedly demanding the housing and education ministries.

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