This first person on the list was Shimon Peres, whose status and role were already known. Peres is expected to serve as vice premier and the minister responsible for the development of the Negev and the Galilee.
The next person to meet with Olmert was outgoing Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who will be appointed transportation minister and will also serve as a member of the security cabinet and deputy prime minister. Mofaz will also be the minister in charge of the State's strategic dialogue.
Mofaz's associates told Ynet: "Mofaz is very satisfied. He got a nice package."
The aides added that they believe the new transportation minister will "develop a very serious partnership with Olmert from now on."
Education Minister Meir Sheetrit, who expected to receive the Finance portfolio, was in for a disappointment. According to Olmert's decision, Sheetrit will serve as construction and housing minister, the minister in charge of the Israel Land Administration and the secret services, and chairman of the ministers' committee for the non-Jewish sector issues.
As expected, Tzipi Livni was appointed foreign minister and deputy prime minister and MK Haim Ramon was appointed justice minister. Gideon Ezra is expected to receive Environment portfolio.
Lost Defense portfolio. Mofaz and Dichter (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
At 12:30, Olmert met with Housing and Agriculture Minister Zeev Boim, who was appointed minister of immigrant absorption. Later, Olmert met with designated Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter.
Olmert also met with his associate Abraham Hirchson, who will be appointed finance minister. Minister Ronnie Bar-On was appointed interior minister and MK Dalia Itzik will be Knesset speaker.
Difficulties in negotiations with United Torah Judaism
During the day, the heads of the different parties' negotiation teams are expected to meet in order to coordinate the joint agreement and ensure that the wordings of all the agreements they signed are identical.
Kadima officials said Sunday evening that the government's Basic Principles will be brought to the Knesset's approval Monday, ahead of the swearing in of the new government.
On the coalition negotiations front, there are still difficulties in the talks with United Torah Judaism. A senior member of the ultra-Orthodox party said following Sunday's meeting between the parties' representatives: "We went home, they are not serious. It appears that Shas fooled Kadima. Shas' accomplishments on the pensions are total nonsense. Shas brought no accomplishments on the pension issue."
On Sunday, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai looked satisfied as he left the home of the party's spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, following Shas' accomplishments in the negotiations. An hour after Rabbi Yosef and Shas' Council of Torah Sages approved the agreement the party reached with Kadima, the agreement was signed in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor in Jerusalem.