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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 23:44 GMT
Cabinet setback for Ariel Sharon
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Mr Sharon said there would be consequences
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has failed to secure parliamentary approval for two new cabinet posts.

Hardline members of Mr Sharon's own Likud party voted with the opposition to block the nominations for the trade and immigration portfolios.

Mr Sharon had to resubmit his nominee for finance minister, Ehud Olmert, whose appointment was then confirmed.

The defeat is seen as resulting from the battle Mr Sharon faced over the withdrawal from Gaza in August.

The rebels accused Mr Sharon of making the appointments as a payback for those who supported him on the issue.

"There will be consequences," Mr Sharon said after the vote.

He had asked parliament to confirm Mr Olmert to the treasury post and appoint two others to the trade and immigration posts.

Parliament first rejected all three in a single package.

Mr Sharon called a cabinet meeting and then asked only for confirmation for Mr Olmert, who was approved by 71 to 41 votes.

"I promise you that on the matter of ministerial appointments, those I did not succeed in passing today, in the end we will implement everything we want," a government statement quoted Mr Sharon as telling the Cabinet.

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