Most MKs expected to suggest Olmert form coalition

After considering the results of Tuesday's elections, it appeared on Friday that most of the Knesset parties would recommend that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert head the coalition for the 17th Knesset. Israeli law stipulates that the president assign a leader of one of the parties with the task of forming a coalition. The person appointed need not be the leader of the largest party, rather the future prime minister ought to be the one with the greatest chances of creating a stable government. President Moshe Katsav announced that he would begin his consultations with the different parties on Sunday. The parties expected to recommend Olmert include Shas, United Torah Judaism, and the Gil Pensioners' Party, Army Radio reported. On the other hand, Labor was continuing its efforts to create a socio-economic alternative to a government headed by Olmert. However, Shas, their leading potential partner, stated they did not intend to participate in such an initiative.