A month after poll, Israeli PM struggles to form govt



Published — Saturday 23 February 2013

Last update 23 February 2013 1:43 am

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JERUSALEM: A month after his rightwing Likud-Beitenu alliance narrowly won an election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still striving to build a coalition, as talk emerges about the possibility of going to the polls again.
Although the small, centrist HaTnuah party agreed on Tuesday to come on board, its six parliamentary seats added to Likud-Beitenu’s 31 still leave Netanyahu a long way from a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
“Political tangle,” was top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily’s front-page headline yesterday. The media say that prospective coalition partners, Yesh Atid, Jewish Home and Kadima — with a combined total of 33 seats — were working together to exert the maximum political price for cooperating with Netanyahu.
They said Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home, was demanding that Netanyahu renege on a pledge to centrist HaTnuah’s head Tzipi Livni to put her in charge of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

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