Israeli President Shimon Peres today began a series of talks with the leaders of the nations various political parties, and will in the next few days determine which party gets the first opportunity to attempt to form a coalition government.
Though the post-election environment in Israel has been marked by serious political infighting and no obvious front-runner, Peres expressed surprising confidence that the talks would end with the forming of what he called a “blessed partnership.”
Though he met with the Kadima and Likud parties today, the real fireworks are likely to begin tomorrow, when he will begin talks with the smaller, potential partner parties, with Yisrael Beiteinu being the first. The right-wing party, headed by the controversial Avigdor Lieberman has been the most sought-after partner, though it is unclear at this point which, if either party will manage to secure their endorsement.
The Likud party has been sending considerable mixed signals about their desire to include Lieberman, condemning his demand for either the defense of foreign ministership as “insolent” and threatening to reduce their offers to him only yesterday, while today they expressed openness to the centerpiece of Lieberman’s campaign, the demand for the state to implement loyalty oaths as a condition for citizenship. Whether or not it will be enough to secure an endorsement that would likely secure their status as the first party to attempt to form a coalition remains to be seen.