RealNews

Sharon Pitches a Coalition With Labor

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned his conservative Likud Party on Thursday that forming a new ruling coalition with the left-leaning Labor Party was the only way to avoid the collapse of the government and early elections. Sharon said he would try to form new partnerships with Labor and smaller religious parties to keep the government in power long enough to carry out his planned Gaza Strip withdrawal. “There are two choices: a unity government or holding elections,” Sharon said. His comments, made to a gathering of news editors in Tel Aviv, were aired nationwide and appeared aimed at sending a message to his party. Sharon’s minority government is in a highly delicate position: It controls just one-third of the Knesset, or parliament, after he dumped the Shinui Party over its refusal to support his proposed 2005 budget. Lawmakers soundly defeated the budget Wednesday. Without Shinui’s support, Sharon faces the threat that a no-confidence motion could bring down his government. Shinui’s ejection takes effect tonight, which would leave Sharon with 40 of 120 Knesset seats, all belonging to Likud. Two smaller parties, National Union and the National Religious Party, were dismissed from or left the coalition this year because of their opposition to the Gaza pullout, leaving the secular Shinui as Sharon’s surviving partner. Labor Party leaders, who control 22 seats, appear eager to join the government to make sure Sharon carries out the planned withdrawal of settlers and troops from Gaza. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.