Israel’s Labor Party reportedly has agreed to join Kadima’s coalition government.
Just before the holiday of Sukkot began Monday evening in Israel, Labor and Kadima reportedly reached an agreement under which Labor will join Tzipi Livni’s governing Kadima Party as a senior partner. Labor leader Ehud Barak will become senior deputy prime minister, a newly created position, while Livni will be prime minister. The agreement is expected to be signed later this week, according to Israeli media reports.
The move brings Livni her first major governing partner, but she needs more to complete her coalition and take office as prime minister.
The partnership with Labor likely will make it harder for Kadima to bring another large party, the Orthodox Shas Party, into the coalition. Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, the chairman of the Likud Party, met Monday with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Shas, to argue against Shas joining a Livni government.
Livni has until Oct. 20 to form a new coalition government, although she can ask President Shimon Peres for a two-week extension.