Published February 19, 2013
| Associated Press
JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister has added his first coalition partner as he works to build a new government.
A spokeswoman for former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says she has agreed to join Netanyahu's emerging coalition. Livni, a former rival of Netanyahu's, led peace talks with the Palestinians four years ago and ran on a platform of resuming negotiations. Her party garnered just six of 120 parliamentary seats in the Jan. 22 election.
Netanyahu needs 61 seats to form a majority coalition. With the addition of Livni, he currently has 37.
Livni's addition could signal a turn toward the resumption of negotiations after years of stalemate. Alternatively, it could merely mark a Netanyahu effort to pressure larger parties to join him. Livni will be the next justice minister and oversee peace efforts.