Barak, Netanyahu move forward on bloc for early election to tackle Iranian nuclear threat

debkafile‘s political sources disclose that, while Israeli president Shimon Peres was solemnly entrusting Kadima leader Tzipi Livni with the task of forming a government Monday night, Sept. 22, the defense minister, Labor’s Ehud Barak and opposition leader Likud’s Binyamin Netanyahu were quietly moving forward with a rival plan.
The two party leaders, both former prime ministers, are discussing an early election to preempt a Livni government. The plan is for their two parties to face the voter as a single bloc committed to form an emergency government for urgently confronting the Iranian nuclear threat.
Peres and Livni were perfectly aware of the Barak-Netanyahu power-sharing initiative. They knew that without Barak and his Labor party, she lacks the numbers for a coalition government. Therefore, Peres commented when he designated the Kadima leader Monday night, that if she cannot form a viable coalition, he will not turn to another candidate but dissolve the Knesset and call a general election.
Livni in her acceptance speech, said she would not waste her own and the public’s time by dragging out the coalition negotiations. If she sees no way forward, said the foreign minister, she will to go to the country.
Her main problem, according to debkafile‘ sources, is that the election option is not in her hands, but up to Barak and Netanyahu. The two leaders have not closed their deal as yet but are feeling the pressure of time to come to terms.
debkafile was first to report that Barak and Netanyahu were talking about an alternative administration to undermine the Kadima leader’s bid to head a government on Sept. 17.
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