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Israeli elections will be held tomorrow. Latest opinion polls seem to show a consistent dip for Kadima and a large number of undecided voters. "Everyone" agrees that Kadima will get the most seats. The question is whether the center left block of Kadima, Labor and Meretz will get enough votes to form a viable coalition. The Likud has been uncompromising in its opposition to further withdrawals. If Kadima has to include the Likud in the coalition, what happens to the Kadima plans for further disengagement?

Some possible scenarios, based on the latest polls:

Best Case for disengagement coalition

Kadima..36
Labor....21
Meretz....6
-----------
Total.....64

This is an unlikely scenario based on the polls because the poll that gives Labor 21 gives Kadima only 34 mandates
Worst case for disengagement coalition

Kadima..34
Labor....17
Meretz....5
-----------
Total.....56

According to the polls, in the worst case, even a coalition with the Yahadut Hatorah party might get only 62 mandates and would not be stable. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, has said that anyone who votes for Kadima should go to hell. It is not likely that Kadima voters will take his advice, but it isn't likely that Shas will join a Kadima-led coalition either. When we remember the very real differences in economic outlook between Meretz and Kadima, we can understand that the real story of the Israeli elections will be, as usual, in the formation of the coalition.
On the other hand, the parties of the right cannot form a coalition either:

Likud..............14
NU/NRP...........12
Yisrael Beiteinu.15
Shas.............. 12
-----------------
Total..............53

All this is true provided that there are no "surprises." As the Israeli political apparatus is able to generate surprises, and as 28% of the votes are reportedly still "undecided," surprises may not be so surprising.

In any case, don't be surprised if Sylvan Shalom launches a bid to oust Benjamin Netanyahu after the elections, and bring the Likud into the coalition.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000023.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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