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Friday, March 20, 2009

Nethanyahu 'asks for extra time to form government'

Fri, 20 Mar 2009 00:32:06 GMT | PressTV

Benjamin Netanyahu will ask for extra time to form a
new government.
Israel's Premier-designate reportedly will ask for extra time to form a government amid an effort to lure the Labor party into joining his coalition.

Likud Party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been tasked to form a new government by President Shimon Peres is expected to meet with him on Sunday, and ask for a 14-day extra time to form the new government, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported on Thursday.

Netanyahu's original mandate of 28 days, which expires on Friday, can be extended by up to a fortnight.

The Likud chairman hopes to persuade Labor Party leader, Ehud Barak, to join his coalition.

The Party, which apparently is divided over the initiative, will decide next Tuesday whether to accept the offer made by Netanyahu, including five ministerial portfolios, two deputy ministers and one chairmanship of a Knesset committee, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The vote among the party's Central committee's 1,460 members will determine Labor's future as well as that of its current chairman, Barak.

According to internal estimates, some 600 committee members oppose joining the government, while fewer than 500 members support the initiative. About 400 members remain undecided.

Likud officials claimed that all of the coalition agreements could be finalized by the end of this week.

This is while the only party which has formally agreed to join the coalition is Yisrael Beitienu whose leader, Avigdor Lieberman, will be appointed as foreign minister.

Talks with Shas resumed on Tuesday, but an official agreement has yet to be reached.

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