Israel’s new coalition government under Ehud Olmert will be sworn in Thursday. The swearing-in session at the Knesset was set Monday after Olmert’s Kadima Party clinched enough partners for a coalition. Kadima will be joined by the Labor Party, Shas and the pensioners’ party Gil, giving the prime minister-elect a parliamentary majority. The Cabinet is expected to have 25 ministers. Meanwhile, Labor leader Amir Peretz faced down a rebellion from senior members of his faction over planned ministerial appointments. Peretz was given the power Sunday by a narrow 667-633 margin as the Labor Central Committee voted to appoint the Labor lawmakers of his choice to the seven ministerial portfolios which the party is to receive in the next government. Peretz, who agreed last week to join Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s coalition government, called a meeting of the Labor committee earlier Sunday to ratify the deal and his list of proposed ministers. But he was challenged by senior Labor lawmakers Danny Yatom, Matan Vilnai and Ami Ayalon, who submitted a motion for ministers to be selected through a central committee vote.
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