Israel: Political Bombshell - National Elections Cancelled, Kadima to join Unity Government
24 hours ago, everyone in Israel, from citizens to senior politicians alike, had accepted the fact that the current Israeli Knesset would be dispersed, with elections seemingly slated for September 2012.
In a shocking turn of events, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz (who narrowly defeated former party leader Tzipi Livni weeks ago) announced hours ago that elections will not be held, with Kadima becoming a member of the Israeli parliament’s coalition in the framework of a unity government and the Knesset remaining in its current form.
No elections, Kadima joins government: In a dramatic move, the Likud and Kadima parties agreed on a unity government early Tuesday, averting the prospect of early elections.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz finalized the surprising unity agreement hours before the Knesset was expected to approve its own dissolution and set September 4th as the date of the next elections.
PM Netanyahu announced that Kadima’s Mofaz will be appointed deputy PM and minister without portfolio, while also being included in Israel’s security cabinet. Mofaz told Kadima members the party will likely get more portfolios later on, apparently in 2013. As part of the deal, Kadima will also chair the Knesset’s Economics Committee.