Livni Calls Off Coalition Talks, Wants Early Elections

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2008 10:29 PM CDT
Prime Minister-designate Tzipi Livni meets with Israel's President Shimon Peres, right, at his Jerusalem residence, Monday, Oct. 20, 2008.   (AP Photo/ GPO, Moshe Milner, HO)
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(Newser) – Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has given up trying to forge a political coalition and will recommend early elections when she meets with President Shimon Peres on Sunday, the Jerusalem Post reports. Elections could be held in February, and Livni faces a tough fight to become Israel's second female prime minister. Her Kadima Party trails Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party in the polls.

"I'm sick of this extortion," Livni reportedly told her advisers. "We'll see all these heroes in 90 days." Her bid to put together a coalition fell apart when two smaller parties, Shas and Degel Hatorah, said they would not join a Livni government. One major sticking point: Livni refused to take Jerusalem off the table in talks with Palestinians.