woensdag 22 oktober 2008

Livni krijgt 2 extra weken om coalitie te vormen

Het Israelische systeem lijkt wezenlijk anders dan het Nederlandse, waarin onderling vertrouwen tussen de coalitiepartners een grote rol speelt. In Israel lijken partijen in coalities te komen en te gaan, en daar wordt al op geanticipeerd door een zo brede coalitie te (proberen te) vormen zodat een van de partijen eruit kan stappen zondat dat de coalitie zijn meerderheid verliest.
Dit levert helaas vaak niet al te stabiele coalities op, waarin bovendien korte termijn belangen van de coalitiepartners vaak boven het landsbelang op de lange termijn uitkomt. Er wordt dan ook al jaren gediscussiëerd over aanpassing van het politieke systeem, vooralsnog zonder tastbaar resultaat.
Last update - 15:09 20/10/2008       
Peres grants Livni extra two weeks to form coalition
By Mazal Mualem and Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondents, and Haaretz Staff
President Shimon Peres on Monday granted prime minister-designate, Kadima chair Tzipi Livni an extra two weeks to form a government coalition.
By law, the prime minister-designate may ask the president for an extension of two weeks, in addition to the four weeks initially given to form a coalition.
So far, Livni has initiated a coalition agreement with Labor; however, talks with the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ) parties remain stalled.
On Sunday, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef instructed party chairman Eli Yishai not to compromise on child allowance payments, as Kadima and Shas party negotiators ended their latest coalition talks without reaching an agreement. The sides will meet again after Tuesday's holiday of Simhat Torah.
Shas is insisting on allowances for "family payments" in 2009, at a cost of more than a billion shekels. Livni's negotiating team, including attorneys Israel Maimon and Yoram Rabad, presented the Shas negotiating team with a compromise during a lengthy meeting on Friday, but Shas appears unwilling to bend. Kadima has offered Shas an overall welfare package of around NIS 600 million, to be drawn from various budgetary sources.
Livni's associates said on Saturday that she intends to present her government on October 27, the day the Knesset's winter session begins. One scenario is that she will present a "narrow" coalition of 59 to 60 MKs, including Meretz and supported from the outside by UTJ, and work to bring Shas and UTJ into the coalition at a later date.
Sources close to Livni said the Kadima leader believes it is important to present the new government on the first day of the Knesset's winter session, but would continue her efforts to bring Shas and UTJ into the coalition in the remaining days.
A meeting may take place today between Shas and UTJ. Sunday night, the Shas team came to the home of Rabbi Yosef to discuss the talks with him. In attendance at the meeting were Yishai and Communications Minister Ariel Atias.
Senior Kadima officials said Saturday that Livni was willing to compromise on the allowances, but Shas did not seem to want to do so, and the question was whether they had decided not to enter a Livni coalition. "Shas is important for a wide and stable government, but we can't wait too long or compromise on the entire sum they want," a senior Kadima official said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, chairman of the Labor Pary, warned that the agreement between Labor and Kadima initialed last week might not be signed if Labor's demand for an additional representative on the Judicial Appointments Committee were not met.
Speaking in an interview on Channel 2 television, Barak hinted that he would not oppose Shas' budgetary demands, although he was against child allowances according to the old system.
Senior Labor Party members have been in talks with senior Shas representatives over the past few days to persuade them to join Livni's cabinet.

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