January 27, 2003
Now that the results of tomorrow’s election appear fairly clear – today’s polls show Likud receiving some 32 Knesset seats, with the entire right-wing and religious bloc winning approximately 65 seats – attention turns to the various options that Ariel Sharon will face when attempting to form his government. Some analysts say that he may turn first to Shinui and the smaller right-wing parties, and later replace the NRP with Labor. This appears unlikely, however, as it would involve the anti-hareidi Shinui sitting together with United Torah Judaism. Others say that Sharon will not give up on Shas and/or the National Union, and will therefore attempt to include them in the first stage.
Labor and Likud party activists are making last-minute phone calls to undecided voters, attempting to sway them to vote for their party. The Likud, for the first time, will put most of its efforts into those who said they would vote for right-wing parties.
MK Tzvi Hendel of Tekumah, #3 on the National Union list, said today that senior aides in Sharon’s circles told him that, despite Sharon’s recent comments against “the extreme right-wing,” the Prime Minister is certain to invite the National Union to join his government.