Lieberman says he’s made his pick


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Avigdor Lieberman says he already has decided who he will recommend to form a new Israeli government.

The leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose support will likely decide who President Shimon Peres taps next week to form the new government coalition, told Israel Radio Thursday that he is not ready to tell anyone who he will support.

Lieberman met Wednesday with both top vote-getters: Kadima Party head Tzipi Livni and Likud Party chief Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also Thursday, the fervently Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism were scheduled to meet to discuss forming a bloc against Lieberman and his party, Israeli media reported. The two parties together have one more seat, an expected 16, than Yisrael Beiteinu.

The counting of soldiers’ ballots was completed Thursday afternoon, and reports say the votes are unlikely to change the distribution of ballots. Final election results will be announced Thursday evening.

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