Coalition negotiations in ‘low gear’ due to holidays

Only one party is scheduled to meet with Likud representatives during Passover break.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 5, 2015 01:48
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST,JPOST STAFF)

 
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Negotiations aimed at forming a new government are expected to make little progress this week due to Passover, Likud officials said on Saturday night.

The only talks that had been scheduled by press time are with Bayit Yehudi on Monday, a Likud spokeswoman said. It was unclear where those negotiations would take place, because the Knesset is closed during the holiday.

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“There will be negotiations, but there has been no real progress,” a Bayit Yehudi source said.

Shas and United Torah Judaism have ruled out any negotiations until Passover ends, citing a tradition that no “blessing” comes from unnecessary work done during the intermediate days of the holiday.

Yisrael Beytenu’s spokesman said he was unaware of any plans by the Likud to meet with his party. Kulanu officials said they thought there would be no talks because of Shas and UTJ, and they were surprised to hear a meeting had been set with Bayit Yehudi.

“If there will be negotiations in the coming week, they will be in low gear,” a member of the Kulanu negotiating team said.

When talks ended last week, significant progress had been made with Shas and UTJ but not with Bayit Yehudi, Yisrael Beytenu or Kulanu. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a mandate until April 22 to form a government but can ask for a two-week extension that would end on May 6.

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“I am in favor of forming a government as soon as possible, but from my experience, it will take until the end of the legal deadline,” Netanyahu told Likud MKs last week.

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