Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

November 30, 2005

Likud as an obstacle to democracy

The decision by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to break with the Likud party that he helped to form 30 years ago is the latest expression of a political crisis that is unfolding in Israel.

On November 21, the 77-year-old Sharon called a news conference to announce that he was quitting Likud to form a new party—Kadima (Forward). He said that “Life had become unbearable in the Likud party,” referring to the elements that had opposed his unilateral disengagement from Gaza. “Likud in its present form cannot lead Israel to its national goals,” he continued.

As a result of Sharon’s move, new national elections have been set for March of next year.

Sharon takes with him 14 Likud members of parliament, including Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and one Labour Party cabinet minister, Haim Ramon, thereby exceeding the threshold to qualify for a $2 million advance in state election funding. He is expecting further defections from Labour and counting on some delegates from the “free market” liberal Shinui party to join him.

More here.

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