Aides to Avigdor Lieberman said the chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which won 15 mandates in last week's general elections, is interested in becoming Israel's next foreign or defense minister.
Speaking to Ynet Sunday night, the associates refuted reports according to which Lieberman was seeking the finance portfolio. The reports claimed that Likud (27 Knesset seats) leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who, according to estimations, will be tasked by President Shimon Peres with forming the next coalition, has already designated Lieberman to head the Finance Ministry.
However, should Kadima (28 mandates) join a Netanyahu-led government, party leader Tzipi Livni and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, also of Kadima, are expected to head the foreign and defense ministries, respectively.
Kadima officials said Saturday that Netanyahu has relayed messages saying he would be willing to secure the party two major portfolios, and perhaps even the education portfolio. Kadima, however, announced that it will not be joining a Likud-led government, particularly if Netanyahu does not agree to share power with Livni.
On Wednesday President Peres is expected to begin consultations with Knesset faction heads in order to determine who will be tasked with forming the next coalition – Livni or Netanyahu. Kadima officials estimated that Peres will recommend that Livni and Netanyahu jointly launch coalition negotiations to establish a unity government.