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Likud



Leader of Likud, Ariel Sharon

Israeli party formed in 1973, representing conservative powers in Israeli politics.
Its name is Hebrew for "unity".
Likud has over decades been either the ruling party of Israel, or the leading opposition party. At the present Likud is the leading party in the government of Ariel Sharon.
The uniting factor for Likud was the idea that the territories occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967; Sinai, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Golan Heights should be included into the state of Israel.

History
1973 October: Four conservative parties, Gahal, Free Centre, State Party, and the Eretz Yisrael movement form Likud. Menachim Begin becomes its first leader.
December: Likud gets 30,2% of the votes for Knesset, securing 39 seats.
1977 May: Likud gets 33,4% of the votes in the election for Knesset, and 43 seats, where after it forms a government together with religious parties. Menachim Begin becomes prime minister.
1981 July: Likud gets 41 seats in the Knesset.
1983 August: Begin resigns as leader of Likud and prime minister. Yitzhak Shamir takes his place.
1984 Likud gets 41 seats in Knesset in new elections. Together with the Labour Party, Likud forms a coalition government.
1988: Likud gets 39 seats in new election, and continues the coalition government with Labour.
1990 March: The arrangement with Labour brakes down, and Likud forms a new government with the help of religious parties.
1992 June: Worst result for Likud ever, the party presence is reduced to 32 seats in the Knesset. Benjamin Netanyahu becomes the new leader of the party.
1996 May 29: Benjamin Netanyahu wins the first direct prime minister elections of Israel, with 50,4% against Shimon Peres' 49,5%. The extended Likud bloc, which counted 40 seats before the elections, were reduced to 32 seats, which in total represented the worst ever result for the party.
1999 May 17: Likud loses the prime minister elections, where Labour candidate Ehud Barak wins 56% of the votes against Netanyahu's 44%. But even more dramatic was the Knesset elections, where Likud was left with only 19 seats (down from 32).
May 27: Netanyahu resigns as leader of the Likud party, and Sharon becomes its new leader.
2002 May 12: The Likud party votes against the acceptance of a Palestinian state no matter what conditions. This came from a proposition of Netanyahu, and against the clear advice of Sharon.




By Tore Kjeilen