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Jan 16, 2008

who has left and who is left

So Avigdor Lieberman did not take Olmert's bribe of the raid in Gaza... Good for him. The government still stands, but it is now in a more precarious position. Any one party to leave the coalition now will force new elections as the government would no longer have a majority.

Lieberman's departure leaves the coalition with a majority of 67 MKs. If Labor should leave (as they have promised to do upon the release of the final Winograd Report scheduled for January 30), or if Shas should leave, the government will fall.

This gives both of those parties a tremendous hold on Olmert. Shas already squeezed out of Olmert the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and they are expected to begin trying to squeeze more budget money (child allowances, yeshiva allowances, etc...) from Olmert who now cannot let them leave the government. I do not know what Labor is going to try to squeeze out of Olmert, but there will be something, as Barak has indicated he really does not want to leave the government, though he might have to because of his previous promise.

Shas, for its part, says it will not accept negotiations regarding Jerusalem, and when they happen, Shas will be out of the government within minutes.

What is their response when questioned about the fact that such negotiations are already, openly, taking place? They say these negotiations are not serious. When the negotiations get serious, that is when they will leave.

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