Photo: Haim Tzach
Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Haim Tzach
Photo: Niv Calderon
PM Ehud Olmert
Photo: Niv Calderon

PM, Lieberman sign coalition deal

Israel Our Home chairman, Olmert sign agreement according to which Lieberman will be charged with establishing policy in respect to Israel's strategic threats ‘without compromising the authority of other ministers’

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Avigdor Lieberman signed an agreement Monday evening according to which Israel Our Home will join the coalition.


The next step will be approval by the Knesset.


The agreement says that Lieberman will be charged with establishing policy in respect to Israel's strategic threats and will formulate a system of making decisions through the National Security Council.


According to the agreement, Lieberman would deal with "strategic issues" on his behalf, this "without compromising the authority of other ministers." The agreement also calls for changing the governance system and drafting a constitution, but stops short of stating that Lieberman’s proposal regarding a presidential system would be prioritized.


The agreement further states that the government would advance legislation that would solve the problem of restrictions on the right to marry. However, this clause remains vague so as not to threaten the partnership with Shas, which is already working an alternative proposal regarding civil marriage.


'Lieberman a strategic threat'

The agreement says Lieberman will be appointed deputy prime minister and minister in the Prime Minister’s Office coordinating strategic affairs and dealing with the Iranian threat. He will also be a member of the political-security cabinet.


Earlier Lieberman said, “We come from place of concern, the right needs to ask itself why it hasn't been able to stop any withdrawal in 30 years in power."


"As long as we argue over specific bits of land, we will always lose. Once we bring the system to a conceptual debate – it will be different," he said.


"We're not joining the government to fight with anyone and not with the Labor party."


Labor party ministers expressed their indignation over the agreement, with Ophir Paz-Pines saying the idea of a minister for strategic affairs is 'nonsense.'


"A minister of strategic affairs is a joke. Lieberman is himself a strategic threat," he said.


"I will do everything in my power to prevent the entry of that party into the government. I hope the prime minister understands that without the Labor party in the government he does not have the support 61 Knesset members.”


Ilan Marciano contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 10.23.06, 19:14
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