Israel’s political leaders are continuing their struggle to form a coalition government after Tuesday’s election results.
With no clear winner Likud party chief Benjamin Netanyahu has been meeting potential partners to try to thrash out a deal. It is the saame story for Kadima’s Tzipi Livni, who has been trying to strike a bargain.
But, the final choice on who forms Israel’s next government will come down to one man — President Shimon Peres.
Professor Peter Medding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said: ‘‘Livni is saying that democratically she should really ought to be asked by the president to form a government, because she leads the largest party. Practically and politically, Netanyahu says that may be so but ‘I lead the largest bloc’, and therefore if we follow the Israeli tradition the president will call upon the leader of the party with the best possibility of forming a government to do so.’‘
With all the votes counted Livni’s Kadima has 28 seats, one more than Netanyahu’s Likud. Despite the coalition deadlock, the US and EU have urged Israel to continue to strive for peace with the Palestinians.