In an overnight drama worthy of a Hollywood thriller, the leaders of Likud and Kadima, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz concluded a deal for a broad coalition government led by their two factions, and the cancellation of the early, September 4 elections.
The new coalition agreement which had been galvanized secretly between Likud and Kadima over the past few days, Mofaz will serve as Deputy Prime Minister and a Minister without a Portfolio. A Kadima MK will continue to chair the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee, and will receive, in addition, chairmanship of the Finance Committee.
Both leaders envision devoting their term in office to changing Israel’s system of Governance and to the issue of drafting Haredi Jews.
The Next elections will be held as scheduled, in November, 2013.
The daily Ma’ariv noted that Netanyahu arrived at the Knesset for his dramatic announcement to his membership accompanied by his former chief of staff, Nathan Eshel, who was forced to resign following allegations about his involvement in the sexual harassment of a female employee. Eshel served as Netanyahu’s liaison in the secret communication with Kadima.
Both the Likud and Kadima faction in the Knesset approved the new coalition deal, with only one objection, on the part of Likud MK Danny Danon.