Sunday, October 26, 2008

Likud slams Livni's performance

Kadima leader Livni's coalition talks failure highlights her inexperience, Likud officials say
Amnon Meranda

Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu's close associates say that efforts to form a new government have failed because of Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni. One associate said Livni "showed absence of leadership, lack of abilities, inexperience, and lack of talent" during coalition talks. Livni has reportedly decided to inform President Shimon Peres Sunday that she has failed to form a new government and wishes to call general elections.

Senior Likud figures said that Livni was willing to offer everything during coalition talks, with the exception of one thing: A pledge that she would not divide Jerusalem.

"The negotiations failed not because of Netanyahu, not because of Eli Yishai, and not because of Rafi Eitan…but rather, because of Tzipi Livni," one Likud official said.

Responding to Livni's decision Saturday evening, Likud Faction Chairman Gideon Sa'ar had harsh words for the foreign minister.

"The truth is that it's very difficult to fail in such negotiations, but as it turns out, Livni succeeded in doing that," he said. "In the face of her inability to mange and successfully conclude coalition talks with such favorable opening positions, one may wonder how she makes pretenses of leading negotiations on more complex issues that are fateful for the country's future vis-à-vis the Palestinians and the Syrians."

However, Livni did receive some support within her own party. Coalition Chairman Yoel Hasson praised the decision to go to early elections and declared that Kadima will win the next elections.

“Livni reached the right decision in light of the impossible requests made by the coalition partners. Kadima will go to elections and win,” Hasson said.

Attila Somfalvi contributed to the story

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