Amir Peretz, Labor Party chairman, said on Monday that he does not have any role in a new initiative to oust the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

The initiative was launched by a group of Likud members of Knesset; they intend to muster the 61 Mk’s needed to force the Israeli president to ask a member of the opposition to form a new government.
 
Peretz told the Labor Party, on Monday, that the party has no connection to the rumors to oust Sharon, and that  
 
“We reject any attempt to drag us into any of these manipulations”, Peretz said, “We have no connection to any of these rumors”.
 
Peretz had previously objected to the initiative, saying he would not support it in any way even if offered to be the Prime Minister for a year.
 
Also, Peretz added that he had not even agreed to meet with those behind the attempts to muster support in order to replace the government.
 
The Labor leader said that he had not even agreed to meet with those behind efforts to muster support for a bid to replace the government.
 
Meanwhile, senior Likud member said on Sunday at night that the initiative will pick up steam after the Likud leadership primaries on December 19.
 
Labor MK Yuli Tamir, a close associate of Peretz, declined to answer directly when he was asked if the Labor had been approached to join an emergency government to oust Sharon, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
 
“We are apposed to the concept”, she said, “Sharon must be ousted by democratic means”.
 
Eli Yishai, Shas leader, rejected the initiative on Sunday at night and said that an attempt to postpone the elections would cause economic instability in Israel.
 
Also, a senior Shinui official stated the party is not considering such an initiative and would never agree to form an alternative government with ultra-Orthodox parties. The party might consider forming what was described as a “secular unity government” but that is a moot point at the current time, Haaretz added.
 
According to the Israeli laws, the opportunity to form an alternative government ends on December 29, which marks the end of the 21-day period since the official publication of the order to disband the Knesset.
 
 Until then, 61 MKs are entitled to sign a document obligating President Moshe Katsav to give one of the MKs the job of forming the government.
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