Premier-designate Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday requested a two-week extension from President Shimon Peres as he did not manage to sign coalition partners within the 28-day deadline. The request is more-or-less a formality, which is usually granted, with Netanyahu confident he will present his coalition in the coming days, hinting at the earlier part of the coming week.
At present, the only party to have initialed an agreement is Yisrael Beitenu, with talks ongoing with Shas, Yahadut HaTorah, Ichud HaLeumi and Bayit HaYehudi.
Netanyahu appears to also be working in earnest to bring Labor and Kadima on board, a move that would significantly stabilize his coalition, but reduce the negotiating power now held by the smaller and religious parties.
Shas leader Eli Yishai on Friday once again called on the Labor Party to join the coalition.
As was expected, the president did grant the requested extension and the premier-designate has an additional two weeks to present his coalition.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)