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Israel's general election in March will amount to referendum on the future of the West Bank, and parties must present clear positions to the voters, President Moshe Katsav said in a radio interview broadcast Saturday.
The remarks appeared aimed, in part, at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who quit the Likud this week and formed a new centrist party, Kadima.
Polls indicate Sharon could be re-elected in the March 28 vote. However, he has refused to reveal Kadima's platform, except to say he remains committed to the road map peace plan.
The future of the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem has been at the center of all election campaigns since Israel captured the territories in the Six Day War, but voters have avoided a clear choice, Katsav said.
"This time, it is the true referendum" on the future of these territories, Katsav said.
"Arguments that have gone on for 38 years are now being decided, and parties have to present clear positions to the voters, not positions that are murky and opaque."