Sharon survives confidence vote

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has survived a confidence vote in parliament but was still dealt an embarrassing blow by pro-settler lawmakers opposed to his plan to evacuate Jewish settlements in Gaza.

    Sharon's coalition holds 68 seats in the parliament

    Sharon, whose coalition holds 68 seats in the 120-member parliament, was able to muster only a few more votes than the opposition on Monday after his pro-settler coalition partners abstained in protest at his Gaza initiative. 

    The vote, called by a group of leftist, religious and Arab Israeli parties, went ahead despite the right-wing prime minister's absence from parliament to undergo treatment for removal of urinary stones. 

    Sharon's voting support was reduced by the abstention of two pro-settler coalition parties angered by his announcement last week of a plan to evacuate 17 settlements in the Gaza Strip. 

    Disengagement

    Sharon's disclosure, his most specific comments so far on a
    "disengagement" strategy he intends to impose on the
    Palestinians if a US-backed "road map" fails, has threatened
    the stability of his ruling coalition. 

    In a series of confidence motions pinned mostly to complaints about the government's austerity budget, Sharon's coalition won 47-45, 47-45, 48-45 and 47-43. An absolute majority of 61 votes would have been needed to topple the government. 

    One pro-settler party has threatened to leave the government if Sharon, once considered the godfather of the settlement
    movement, starts to implement the plan. Sharon has vowed to forge a new government if necessary. 

    It was the second time in a week that Sharon has survived a
    confidence vote. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.