The granting of four ministerial posts to the new five-person 'Independence' faction is making other coalition partners jealous. Several factions are now asking to reopen the agreements they signed when they joined the coalition. Likud has said 'no' to these requests.
A source within Likud said that there is no intention at the moment to begin coalition negotiations with any party, beyond the agreement signed with Ehud Barak's 'Independence.'
MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) announced Tuesday morning that he intends to approach the Prime Minister and ask him to reopen the coalition agreement. "There are changes in the coalition," he explained, "and following these developments we have decided to demand to reopen the agreements. We are not talking about jobs but about principles of our membership in the coalition."
The Jewish Home faction fired off a letter to the Prime Minister Monday in which it said that "following the latest changes in the coalition's makeup, we ask to meet urgently in order to discuss updating the conditions of our participation in the government and coalition."
The Shas faction, meanwhile, is ogling the vacant Welfare portfolio. "There are those who speak and those who do," an unnamed spokesman in Shas said. "At this time, social action is required."
Labor MKs Eitan Cabel, Amir Peretz, Daniel Ben-Simon and Ghaleb Majadleh were to hold a news conference Tuesday at 1 p.m., and may announce that they, too, are splitting off from Labor.