PM welcomes Mofaz in first new coalition meeting

Netanyahu announces formation of teams to find Tal Law alternative, implement change to electoral system.

Binyamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Binyamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu congratulated Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz on his joining the government coalition during his opening remarks at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
"This is the first meeting of the broad-based unity government and in the name of all the ministers I congratulate Mofaz and all the Kadima MKs on their having joined the government," Netanyahu stated.
The prime minister reiterated the four main goals of the national unity government which he laid out last week - passing an alternative to the Tal Law, changing the electoral system, passing a budget and advancing the peace process.
Netanyahu stated that a multi-party team would be formed sometime this week to find an alternative to the Tal Law, which allows ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to indefinitely defer IDF service. "By the end of June we will pass a law that will more equally distribute the burden without pitting sector against sector," the prime minister said. The High Court of Justice ruled that the Tal Law was unconstitutional in February.
The prime minister said that an additional government team would be formed soon "that will advance changes to the electoral system." Last week, Netanyahu and Mofaz said that the coalition's goal was to implement electoral reform by the end of 2012.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said before the meeting that he hopes the forming of the coalition government will enable the passage of a biannual budget. The finance minister contended that the previous biannual budget "considerably aided in Israel's successful dealing with the global economic crisis and therefore we would like to pass another biannual budget if it is possible."