Likud renews bids to oust Sharon

Likud MKs negotiate with opposition to get support of 61 MKs.

Sharon in Knesset 88 (photo credit: )
Sharon in Knesset 88
(photo credit: )
Likud activists continued attempts Monday to assemble a majority of 61 MKs from Likud, Labor, Shinui and NRP in an effort to oust Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and delay elections until November 2006. The law decrees that any member of Knesset may present the president with a list of 61 MKs supporting his candidacy for the premiership, in which case the president will allot the candidate 21 days to assemble a coalition. In the Likud, Michael Ratzon, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and coalition chairman Gideon Sa'ar were spearheading talks with the various parties in an effort to collect 61 signatures to present to the president. Senior officials in the Likud have reportedly met with Labor Chairman Amir Peretz in an attempt to form a "social emergency government" that would not carry out any major political moves in the interim until the elections. Peretz rejected the initiative. Likud sources said that the contacts did not bear fruit because the Likud had no leader, but emphasized that once a leader was elected, the meetings would be renewed and proceed vigorously. Labor faction chairman Ephraim Sneh, however, denied that any such meetings were taking place, adding that the Labor Party was looking forward to the March 28 elections.