Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in this evening as the new Prime Minister of Israel, receiving the support of 69 Knesset (Israeli parliament) members. In addition to prime minister, Netanyahu has created the position of finance strategy minister, which he is giving to himself.
Within the new government, Labor Party head Ehud Barak will retain the position of defense minister, Yisrael Beiteinu chair Avigdor Lieberman will replace Tzipi Livni as foreign minister, and Shas head Eli Yishai will become the new minister of the interior.
The coalition government at present holds only a narrow majority, but that could be added to somewhat by the inclusion of United Torah Judaism (UTJ), the ultra-Orthodox party that is still negotiating for inclusion. Even then, the government is likely to face serious obstacles, and a Haaretz poll shows that, even though they’ve only been in power for a few hours, 54 percent of the public is already dissatisfied with them.
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