Kadima joins Netanyahu's Likud in Israeli government

By Jennifer Lipman, May 8, 2012
Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz

Plans for early elections to Israel's Knesset have been cancelled after the Prime Minister announced that his Likud Party had formed a coalition with its main opposition party.

It was revealed early on Tuesday morning that Likud would bring the Kadima Party into government.

The centrist party is now led by former Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz, who recently defeated Tzipi Livni to take charge of Kadima.

In 2009 Ms Livni refused to go into government with Benjamin Netanyahu because of differences in their approaches to the peace process.

Kadima's presence in the coalition will give the government 94 of the Knesset's 120 seats.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Unity restores stability.

"A broad national unity government is good for security, good for the economy and good for the people of Israel."

The move was criticised by Israel's left-wing Labour Party, who labelled it "ridiculous".

Last updated: 8:33am, May 8 2012