There is growing pressure on Ariel Sharon as Israel’s march towards what appears to be an inevitable early election picks up speed. The new Labour leader is threatening to act quickly to bring down Sharon’s government. Amir Peretz’s warning came after his scheduled meeting today with the prime minister was delayed. Peretz wants talks immediately to discuss a date for an early poll.
Sharon’s Likud colleagues have rejected any ultimatums.
“Though Amir Peretz thinks that he is going to dictate the political agenda, he is not going to dictate it,” said Education Minister Limor Livnat.
“Likud is more determined than ever and more united than ever and we are going to win the next elections whether it is going to happen in May or November.”
Amir Peretz’s election as Labour’s leader shook-up the Israeli political landscape. He has already said he wants to pull his party out of the ruling coalition.
On Wednesday, Labour support for a Bill to dissolve parliament could set the ball rolling towards an election just three months from now.
A massive peace rally to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was also a major show of strength by Israel’s left. Amir Peretz joined foreign dignitaries and a crowd of around 200,000 people in Tel Aviv to remember Rabin, in the square where he was shot.