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Israelis want more centrist governing coalition, poll finds
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 19 - 03 - 2010


One year after Benjamin Netanyahu of the
nationalist Likud party took office at the helm of a right-wing
coalition, nearly two-thirds of Israelis would like their prime
minister to form a more centrist government, a poll showed Friday, according to dpa.
According to the Dahaf Institute survey, 65 per cent of Israelis
want to see the largest opposition party, the centrist Kadima,
replace the ultra-nationalist Israel Beitenu of Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox Shas parties in the
governing coalition.
The survey, which polled 500 people and has a margin of error of
4.4 per cent, was commissioned by Israel's biggest-selling daily,
Yediot Ahronot, ahead of the first anniversary of the Netanyahu
government, on March 31, 2009.
The poll also found that if new elections were to be held today,
Netanyahu's governing coalition would obtain 68 of the 120 mandates
in the Knesset (parliament), down from the 74 it won a year ago.
However, Defence Minister Ehud Barak would emerge as the biggest
loser in a hypothetical new ballot, with plummeting support for his
Labour Party delivering it just eight mandates, compared to its
current 13, the poll found.
That finding was likely to increase pressure on Barak, who has
faced increasing calls from party activists to quit Netanyahu's
coalition of otherwise pro-settler and hawkish parties.
According to the Dahaf poll, a narrow majority of Israelis - 51
per cent - think Israel should continue building in occupied East
Jerusalem, while 46 per cent of them think the government should
freeze construction in East Jerusalem.
Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they did not believe that
the current government would be able to achieve a breakthrough in
negotiations with the Palestinians.


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