Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's apparent victory in the Kadima primary elections on Wednesday elicited responses across Israel's political spectrum. Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, a key potential coalition partner, said his party's participation in a new government was contingent on Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's actions.
Yishai said he was "sure that Livni knows that the public doesn't care about her victory today, but rather, about her actions tomorrow. The elections are a means, not an end."
Shas' chairman added that "If Livni addresses the issue of a million hungry children and doesn't give away the country's assets – with an emphasis on Jerusalem – we'll be in her government. If not, we won't be."
However, Yishai added that certain Kadima members preferred to go to general election.
"I feel that within Kadima there are those who desire elections. A government cannot be established now. We will be part of the government only if our demands are fulfilled. I don't believe in the option of a government with 61 MKs. Either there will be a stable government with Shas, or elections," he said.
MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) praised Livni oor her victory and expressed his hope that she would be able to
form the next government. Beilin called on Livni to form a coalition that will allow for constructive peace negotiations with the Palestinians and with Syria.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister and Livni supporter Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) emphasized the importance of averting general elections.
"For the Labor party to go to general elections is a type of suicide. Neither they nor Shas want general elections right now and Israel doesn't need general elections right now," he said.
Amnon Meranda contributed to this report