Prepare for elections, Livni tells Kadima

Sources close to Kadima leader say instruction meant as message to heads of Labor and Shas.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 28, 2008 23:15
1 minute read.
Prepare for elections, Livni tells Kadima

livni sultry head on hands 224 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni instructed Kadima Director-General Adi Sternberg to begin preparing the party for a general election that would ensue if she were unable to form a new coalition, Livni told the Kadima faction Sunday at the party's headquarters in Petah Tikva. Sources close to Livni said she made a point of mentioning her instructions to Sternberg when the cameras were rolling in order to send a message to the heads of Labor and Shas. They said she said the same thing when she met briefly with Labor chairman Ehud Barak during Sunday's cabinet meeting. Kadima teams met Sunday with representatives of Shas and United Torah Judaism. No significant progress was reported in any of the meetings. "I believe that it is possible to end the current political uncertainty immediately," Livni told the faction. "That is our responsibility and that of the other faction heads. But Kadima has to also be ready for elections. I am trying to form a government and this is our top priority, but a party has to be ready for elections." Livni said she instructed her representatives in coalition talks to work out details on how to pass the budget immediately after the new government's formation. "We have to remember that two of our partners in the coalition opposed the budget," Livni said, referring to Labor and Shas. "The intention is to reach a deal in advance so that the government will be set, we will know we have the support necessary to pass the budget, and the government will have longevity."

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