Shimon Peres Becomes Prime Minister

September 13, 1984

Shimon Peres becomes Israel’s Eighth Prime Minister as he forms a coalition government comprised of Alignment (which would become the Labor party in 1992), Likud, NRP, Agudat Yisrael, Shas, Morasha, Shinui and Ometz.

Elections were held in late July 1984 with Peres’ Alignment party receiving the most votes (724,074 – 44 seats in Knesset) and Likud, which was led by Yitzhak Shamir receiving the second most votes (661,302 – 41 seats in the Knesset). The election had a voter participation of nearly 80%.

As head of the party receiving the most votes, Peres was was given 21 days to form a new government, for which he needed an extension of an additional 21 days. Finally, Likud and Alignment were able to reach agreement on forming a national unity government together with the parties listed above. The result was a large cabinet of 25 ministers. In a unique part of the deal, Likud and Alignment agreed to have a rotating Prime Ministership, meaning that the leader of the Likud, Yitzhak Shamir, would become Prime Minister again in two years and Shimon Peres would take Yitzhak Shamir’s place as Foreign Minister.

Photo: Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres in the Knesset in 1985.