Ik moet eerlijk bekennen dat me niet helemaal duidelijk was waarom er opeens vervroegde verkiezingen moesten komen en de zaken niet meer binnen de coalitie konden worden opgelost, en vervolgens begrijp ik niet echt waarom men daar opeens weer van af is gestapt en Netanyahu, die er goed voor stond in de peilingen, nu een deal heeft gesloten met Kadima. Op haar beurt weigerde Kadima na de verkiezingen om onder Likoed aan de coalitie deel te nemen en eiste toen een gelijkwaardige positie (er was slechts een zetel verschil tussen beide partijen) waarop Likoed een rechtse coalitie in elkaar zette. Een brede coalitie lijkt me een verbetering tegenover de rechtse coalitie waar een paar behoorlijk radikale partijen aan deelnamen, maar mij is niet echt duidelijk wie er volgens deze deal nog allemaal bij de coalitie zitten en of het beleid op meer punten wordt aangepast.
In surprise move, Netanyahu, Mofaz agree to form unity government, cancel early elections
PM, opposition leader reach dramatic late-night agreement to form national unity government, in which Mofaz expected to be appointed deputy prime minister.
By Jonathan Lis
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition chairman MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) reached a surprise agreement early Tuesday morning to form a national unity government.
Under the agreement, Kadima will join Netanyahu's government and support its policies in exchange for a commitment that the government will support its proposal for an alternative to the Tal Law, which allows full-time yeshiva students to defer national service.
Sources in Kadima told Haaretz that Mofaz is expected to be appointed as a minister in the government. Likud sources confirmed this, adding that they expected that Mofaz would become a minister without portfolio.
The dramatic announcement, which has yet to receive official confirmation, came as the Knesset was conducting early-morning discussions ahead of an expected vote to disperse in advance of early elections. Earlier in the evening, 119 MKs voted to approve in its first reading a bill to disperse the body, with only one lawmaker opposed.
Meretz head Zahava Gal-On expressed outrage over the surprise move, calling it a "mega-stinking maneuver by a prime minister who wants to avoid elections and a desperate opposition chairman facing a crash."
PM, Mofaz to form unity gov't with Likud, Kadima
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz met Monday in order to consider forming a national unity government that would postpone early elections at the last minute.
The Likud and Kadima factions began emergency meetings after 2:00 a.m. to discuss developments, with Likud eventually approving the deal shortly after 3:00 a.m.
Netanyahu - who arrived at the Likud meeting along with his former chief of staff Natan Eshel - told the Likud faction that contact with Mofaz over forming a unity government began a few days ago and bore fruit. Eshel apparently played a role in brokering the deal.
Now, according to the agreement, Kadima has agreed not to topple the government until the official end of its term on October 22 2013. Mofaz will also become vice premier, and will fill in for the prime minister when he is abroad.
The deal tasked Kadima with leading a committee that will work on approving an alternative to the Tal Law - which allows ultra-Orthodox men to indefinitely defer army service - by the August 1 deadline.
The party will also work towards changing the government system by the end of the year.
Before Netanyahu's arrival, Likud ministers complained about the move.
"Why are we giving Kadima a lifeline after it was bleeding to death," one minister asked.
Earlier, as Netanyahu and Mofaz made progress, deliberations on approving early elections were purposefully filibustered.
One possibility for a new government is that Mofaz and other Kadima ministers will be given ministry without portfolio in return for a commitment to not topple the government for at least a year.
Another possibility is that Kadima join the government instead of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party, and receive his portfolios, though the first scenario is more likely.
Less than few hours before the sudden development, a bill to dissolve the Knesset passed a vote in Knesset House Committee with 12 voting in favor and one opposed late Monday night, after the Knesset voted to approve the bill.
Independence MK Einat Wilf was the only committee member to vote down the bill, which was set be sent immediately to the plenum for second and third readings.
The vote followed a stormy committee meeting where MKs asked repeatedly why the Knesset was moving to dismantle itself now.
"Please help explain to my children why we are going to an election," Kadima MK Yisrael Hasson asked.
If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants elections so badly, then why does he not open polls tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m., Shas MK Nissim Ze'ev questioned.
"I am shocked to see so many MKs vote like sheep going to slaughter," Ze'ev said. "If this crazy vote was by secret ballot, it would fall."
Jpost.com staff contributed to this report