A growing number of Kadima
party officials are calling on Chairwoman Tzipi Livni to consider sitting in the opposition, this after Tuesday's general elections secured
a clear majority for the right-wing parties in the 18th Knesset.
Livni, for her part, said during her meetings with Kadima activists Thursday that the party "has gained the public's trust and should form the next coalition in order to promote its agenda".
Kadima officials who spoke to Livni said the chairwoman hinted she would not rush to join a government led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu that
would also feature Shas and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, and would not rule out leading the opposition.
Political establishment sources estimate that, barring any unforeseen developments, President Shimon Peres will eventually task with establishing the next government.
A source close to Livni said she was expected to make a "dramatic announcement" on Sunday during the scheduled Kadima faction meeting.
Meanwhile, senior Kadima officials continued with their efforts to dissolve the bloc of rightist parties that supports Netanyahu, leading some political establishment officials to postulate that the statements regarding the possibility of sitting in the opposition were meant to apply pressure on Likud amid the ongoing coalition negotiations.
Netanyahu, for his part, met
Thursday morning with representatives of the National Union and asked them to recommend that Peres task him with forming the next government, but the right-wing party has apparently decided to keep all options open.
"We are not in anyone's pocket and may not recommend anyone to the president," National Union Chairman Yaakov Katz told Ynet before the meeting.