Prime Minister Ariel lost three no-confidence votes in the Knesset (parliament), but his opponents were not able to muster an absolute majority to topple the government. Sharon lost one vote accusing his government of corruption by 43-30, but under law it takes 61 votes in the 120-member Knesset to bring down the government. One opposition parliamentarian charged that Sharon has "recreated Sodom and Gomorra." Sharon labeled the charges "slander and defamation." Only six of Sharon’s coalition partners from the dovish Labor Party supported the government. It was a humiliation for Sharon and an indication that the only reason this government exists and survives is to implement this summer’s planned pullout from the Gaza Strip.
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