Israel’s Kadima and Labour reach coalition deal

Israel’s Kadima and Labour reach coalition deal

JERUSALEM – Israeli acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Kadima party and the centre-left Labour Party signed a coalition agreement yesterday that will form the backbone of a new government, a Kadima spokesman said.

Kadima won the most votes in Israel’s March 28 general election but it needs the support of Labour and several other smaller parties for a parliamentary majority. “Today at 3:30pm the Kadima and Labour negotiating teams will meet to sign a coalition agreement,” a Kadima party spokesman said in a statement yesterday after several weeks of negotiations.The deal, which could enable Olmert to form a government by early May, was reached in a meeting between the acting prime minister and Labour leader Amir Peretz.Under the deal, Labour will receive seven cabinet posts in the new government, including the senior Defence Ministry portfolio which Peretz will hold.Olmert seeks to form a broad coalition with more than 80 seats in the 120-member parliament.He will likely need a strong majority in order to pursue his plan to pull out of parts of the occupied West Bank, while strengthening Jewish settlements in other sections of the territory, in the absence of peace talks with the Palestinians.- Nampa-Reuters”Today at 3:30pm the Kadima and Labour negotiating teams will meet to sign a coalition agreement,” a Kadima party spokesman said in a statement yesterday after several weeks of negotiations.The deal, which could enable Olmert to form a government by early May, was reached in a meeting between the acting prime minister and Labour leader Amir Peretz.Under the deal, Labour will receive seven cabinet posts in the new government, including the senior Defence Ministry portfolio which Peretz will hold.Olmert seeks to form a broad coalition with more than 80 seats in the 120-member parliament.He will likely need a strong majority in order to pursue his plan to pull out of parts of the occupied West Bank, while strengthening Jewish settlements in other sections of the territory, in the absence of peace talks with the Palestinians.- Nampa-Reuters

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