Kadima assails Likud's 'political capitulation' to Shas
Yishai to 'Post': Kadima would have given the same.
By MATTHEW WAGNER, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 23, 2009 10:17
1 minute read.
yishai looks up 224.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Shas became the second party to join Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu's government Sunday night, signing a deal just after midnight. Shas chairman Eli Yishai will get the Interior Ministry portfolio and will serve as Netanyahu's deputy in the agreement.
The deal also guarantees Shas the Construction and Housing, and Religious Services portfolios. The party gave up its attempt to appoint a minister for haredi education and instead will receive a minister-without-portfolio in the Prime Minister's Office.
Netanyahu now has a coalition of 53 MKs in hand comprised of Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Shas. Coalition talks are set to continue on Monday with Labor, United Torah Judaism and Habayit Hayehudi.
The agreement also states that the party will also have a deputy minister "in a ministry agreed upon by the Prime Minister's Office and the Interior Minister," presumably in the Finance Ministry.
In addition, two of Shas's ministers will be part of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. A Shas MK will be appointed as deputy chairman of the Knesset, and another will head the Knesset Interior Committee.
Another clause in the agreement states that the prime minister will appoint a professional team containing representatives of the Civil Service Commission and the Finance and Justice ministries in order to evaluate the positions and jobs in the public service in which rabbinical ordination might be considered equivalent to an academic degree.
The coalition agreement still needs to be ratified by the Shas Council of Torah Sages.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report