Yair Lapid told Israel’s president that he could form a coalition government that would end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule.
Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid has informed the president that he may form a coalition government, a move that would bring an end to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years in power.
The leader of the Yesh Atid party was Lapid. tasked with forming the government Netanyahu reunited after President Reuven Rivlin failed to put together his own coalition after Israel fourth inconclusive election in less than two years.
In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Lapid said he had informed Rivlin of the deal. “This government will work for all the citizens of Israel who voted for it and those who did not. It will do everything to unify Israeli society,” he said in a statement issued shortly before the midnight deadline (21:00 GMT).
congratulations to you @yairlapid And on your agreement to the heads of the parties to form the government. We expect the Knesset to convene, as necessary, to confirm the Government at the earliest.
— Ruwen Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) 2 June 2021
Lapid, a former TV presenter and a secular centrist, won the critical support of staunch religious-nationalist Naftali Bennett, a techno multi-millionaire who has handled several government departments, including the defense ministry, on Sunday.
Under the coalition agreement, Bennett and Lapid will rotate the role of prime minister, with Bennett serving the first two years and Lapid for the final two years.
The agreement still needs to be voted on in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, where the government requires the support of a majority before it can be sworn in. The vote is expected to be held within seven to 12 days.
Israel’s latest political drama escalates the woes of Netanyahu, who is on trial for criminal charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust while in office – charges he denies.
After losing the job of prime minister, he would not be able to make changes to basic laws that could exempt him and would lose control of some of the Justice Ministry nominations.
Netanyahu’s Likud won the most seats in the March 23 election, but was unable to form a majority with his natural allies. Importantly, Bennett’s far-right party – allied with Netanyahu – refused to join forces with united arab list, a party that emerged as the kingmaker.
unlikely allies unite
The coalition will consist of a patchwork of ideologically opposing parties and will include a party that represents Israeli Palestinian citizens for the first time in Israeli history.
Mansoor Abbas, who heads the Joint Arab List, signed the alliance less than two hours before Wednesday’s deadline.
“We promised that we would be the last to agree and sign the document. That’s what we did. We understand that all other parties are involved in this process. We have seen all other parties sign the document. are,” Abbas said.
Deals were also made with the centrist Blue and White Party led by Benny Gantz, who would remain defense minister in the new cabinet, with the left-wing Meretz and centre-left Labor parties, as well as the nationalist Israel Beitenu party of former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. . .
Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from West Jerusalem, said there were questions about how long the new government would remain united.
“It is a coalition between eight parties that moves from left to right, with advocates of illegal settlement activity and expanding supporters of the two-state solution, so [these are] People who really have nothing in common other than the desire to oust Netanyahu,” she said. “It’s the glue of this alliance — how long this glue can keep them together is what a lot of Israelis are wondering.”
The former justice minister, Yossi Beilin, welcomed the announcement, but warned that there could be difficulties ahead.
“The situation in which the eight medium and small parties are forging an alliance has never happened before. It will not be easy. Netanyahu is still around,” he told Al Jazeera.
“We must cross our fingers and hope that this government will not only remove Netanyahu, but it will also be able to perform and be durable,” Beilin said.
Netanyahu, in power for the past 12 years, sought to discredit Bennett and other right-wingers for negotiating with Lapid, saying they were putting Israel’s security at risk.
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