Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu suffered another setback on Monday in his quest for a broad governing coalition after Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima party backed her refusal to join.
In a statement, Kadima parliament members said they "decided the conditions do not exist to continue coalition negotiations".
Livni, currently foreign minister, had already denied a political partnership with the hawkish Netanyahu, saying he was not committed to a U.S.-sponsored vision of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
A second round of coalition negotiations between Kadima and Netanyahu's right-wing Likud ended in disagreement on Friday and no new talks were scheduled.
President Shimon Peres asked Netanyahu on Feb. 20 to form a government after a nationalist bloc, comprised of right-wing and Jewish religious parties, won a majority of seats in parliament in an election 10 days earlier.
But a right-wing government could put Netanyahu, who clashed with the Clinton White House while prime minister from 1996 to 1999, on a collision course with the Obama administration, which has affirmed a U.S. commitment to Palestinian statehood.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak, head of the centre-left Labour Party, has not ruled out joining up with Likud, although he said he was sceptical a deal could be worked out.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Mart 2009, 20:23