Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is succeeding in efforts to break up the opposition-leading Kadima Party, currently the largest party in Israel's Knesset.
According to Israeli media reports, six Kadima lawmakers have signed an agreement to leave the party and join Netanyahu's coalition. Only seven MKs are needed to lawfully split from the party.
In the previous national election, Kadima won 28 Knesset seats to Likud's 27, but Netanyahu was nevertheless chosen to form the next government when Kadima leader Tzipi Livni was unable to bring enough other parties into her coalition.
If the new reports are accurate, Netanyahu could reduce Kadima to 21 seats and possibly increase Likud to 34 seats, making it much easier for him to pass important decisions. That shift would also significantly reduce pressure to accept left-wing policies regarding the peace process with the Arabs.