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JERUSALEM – Israeli President Shimon Peres chose hard-line Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to form a new Israeli government, giving Netanyahu six weeks to cobble together a coalition.
The question now is whether Netanyahu will form a narrow government with his hard-line allies or a broad government along with his centrist rival, Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni. His choice will have serious ramifications for the Mideast peace process.
Minutes before the news came out that the Likud leader would be asked to form a government, Ms Livni said what was being proposed was a government "without political vision, a government with no values".
"I will not be a pawn in a government that would be against our ideals," she said.
His position was bolstered on Thursday when Avigdor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beiteinu, which favours tightening the Israeli blockade on Gaza, said it wanted him to be prime minister.