Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s Kadima party signed a draft coalition deal with Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s Labour Party on Monday, moving her a step closer to becoming Israel’s prime minister, political sources said.
Representatives from the two parties, already partners in the outgoing government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Kadima, initialled the draft accord, which still needs to be finalised and ratified by party institutions, the sources said.
A political partnership with Labour would still leave Livni short of a workable parliamentary majority. Kadima officials said she planned to continue efforts to persuade the Jewish ultra-Orthodox Shas party to join a coalition under her leadership.
Livni was elected by Kadima members last month to take over as party leader from Olmert, who resigned as prime minister in a corruption scandal. He remains in office in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.
Under a presidential mandate, Livni has until early November to present a new cabinet. Failure to do so would likely lead to an early parliamentary election.
via NYT‘s International Herald Tribune: Israel’s Livni reaches preliminary coalition deal