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Vice PM opposes adding Barak to Likud list
By JPOST.COM STAFF
01/05/2012
Even if Independence Party doesn't pass threshold in elections, PM can appoint Barak to a government post, says Shalom.
 
Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom voiced his opposition on Tuesday to the prospect of placing Defense Minister and Independence Party founder Ehud Barak on the Likud list.

The Likud Party is democratically chosen, and has never reserved slots for anyone, Shalom said according to Israel Radio.

Even if Barak will not be elected to the Knesset in upcoming elections Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can appoint him to a government post.

Shalom's comments came as rumors swirled that general elections could be called as early as this September, with several coalition members including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman of Yisrael Beytenu calling for elections as soon as possible.

On Monday, Barak responded to hearsay that his party would not make it through the next polling, expressing confidence that his centrist Independence Party would pass the elections threshold to join the next government.

“Independence’s ministers and MKs deserve the public’s confidence,” Barak said. “People will vote for us.”

He also dismissed any notion of joining the Likud list as "baseless," and jokingly threatened to publicly praise the Likud MKs and ministers “until their bitter end.”

In January, Netanyahu sought to dispel rumors that he would consider adding Barak to Likud, after Likud MKs Danny Danon and Tzipip Hotovely drafted petitions signed by Likud ministers against reserving slots on the party's list.

Netanyahu responded: "Despite the misinformation that has angered our MKs, Ehud Barak has not been reserved a slot and he will not be parachuted in, not by air, nor by land, nor by sea."

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report
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