Lieberman expects fewer political parties

Oct. 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Friday he sees fewer political parties in Israel's future.

The comments followed an announcement that his Yisrael Beytenu party was merging with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Lieberman said it is "important that we build a wide, national camp" and that the number political parties must be reduced to four or five from the 14 that have seats in Parliament.

The merger of the two parties was a natural fit of "two factions on one list," Lieberman said.

The foreign minister said he wanted to separate religion from Israeli state affairs, pointing to efforts to create a universal draft that would include Ultra Orthodox and Muslim citizens.

An Internet poll taken Thursday night immediately after Lieberman announced the party merger indicated it would would result in a loss of nine seats from the combined 42 the two parties now hold.

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