November 20, 2005


PM Sharon 'to quit' Likud party (Allyn Fisher-Ilan, November 21, 2005, Reuters)

ISRAEL'S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will quit his ruling Likud party to run separately in national elections and will ask Israel's president to dissolve parliament for a snap poll, a source in his office said on Sunday.

The source confirmed a report on Israeli Army Radio that the 77-year-old Israeli leader had made the decision to break with the right-wing party he help found in a dramatic bid to change the Israeli political landscape and boost peacemaking. [...]

Mr Sharon has already begun contacting political allies to join a new party he would head, and 14 Likud lawmakers have agreed to join him, the radio said.

The former general had been expected to announce his decision by a planned meeting on Monday with members of the Likud parliament faction.

Confidants have said Mr Sharon wants to seize the chance that polls say he has to defeat the left-of-centre Labour party in a snap election, then pursue plans to end conflict with the Palestinians without having to battle Likud hardliners who oppose giving up West Bank land.

Unlike Britain, the U.S. and australia, both main parties in Israel are obsolecent, one domestically, the other strategically.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2005 7:59 PM
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