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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that the Likud would not join any government established by Kadima's new leader, Tzipi Livni.
"We are not joining the failure. We are the alternative to the failure," Netanyahu told reporters at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
"What we need is a change of policy, not more of the same failed policy. This is why this government should be replaced," Netanyahu added.
He praised outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for his actions on behalf of Israel's security, but he said the next premier should be chosen by the public.
"After a dramatic development such as the resignation of a prime minister, only one thing should happen, and that is going to general elections," Netanyahu said.
"It is unprecedented that a small group of Kadima members should determine who Israel's prime minister is," he said. "The decision must be given to the people. Setting a date for general elections is the responsible, the decent and the democratic thing to do. The nation should decide who leads it, and in which direction."
Any government established without going first to general elections was doomed to fail, Netanyahu predicted.
"Such a government would be busy stabilizing itself constantly, instead of governing. Stability can be achieved only by going to general elections," he said.
Likud MK Limor Livnat, who also participated in the press conference, called on Livni to tell the people of Israel what issues had been discussed with Palestinian chief negotiator Ahmed Qurei, while MK Silvan Shalom urged the Shas party not to join Livni's government and betray its social agenda.
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