Former Israeli opposition leader Jair Lapid announced the agreement on an Israeli government without Benjamin Netanyahu. The alliance must reconcile the interests of parties from different directions.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents heralded a temporary end to the prime minister’s long-running coalition-building tenure. More than two months after the parliamentary elections, former opposition leader Gair Lapid has formed an eight-party coalition. According to his spokesperson, the 57-year-old will announce this to President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday evening. The head of the Arab Party, Mansour Abbas, signed a coalition agreement with the future Lapid party shortly before the deadline.
With such a government sworn in in Parliament, Netanyahu’s reign as prime minister will come to an end for the time being. The expected date is June 14. Before being sworn in, a simple majority of the 120 deputies must vote for the government.
Small party leader starts as prime minister
According to media reports, part of Lapid’s alliance will also be the far-right Yamina party led by Naftali Bennett, who was considered to turn the scales after the March 23 elections. According to media reports, the two sides agreed to rotate the position of prime minister. Former Defense Minister Bennett must be the first prime minister for two years, then Lapid must replace him.
Lapid wants to take over the post of foreign minister first. His future party is located in the political center. In the March elections, the party became the second most powerful force after Netanyahu’s right-wing conservative Likud party. Lapid entered politics after his career as a TV presenter. He served as Finance Minister in the previous Netanyahu government.
Netanyahu was Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999 and has held office since 2009. He was the longest-serving Prime Minister of Israel.
The main thing is not Netanyahu
Lapid is counting on his party’s future alliance with seven smaller parties from all walks of the political spectrum. The common denominator between them is Netanyahu’s rejection of the prime minister on corruption charges. However, their political goals vary widely.
Bennett, who became a millionaire with an internet startup, supports national religious politics, and considers his party friendly to the settlers. The coalition partners, Meretz, the Labor Party and the Arab Party, support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. This could complicate the work of the Lapid Alliance.
At the beginning of May, 56 deputies voted for Lapid to be responsible for forming the government. Yamina won seven seats in the Knesset in the previous elections.
Recently, Israel has been in a perpetual political crisis. The fourth parliamentary elections in two years at the end of March again failed to achieve a clear majority. Rivlin tasked Lapid with forming a government on May 5, but Netanyahu has previously failed. Lapid’s deadline was past midnight on Wednesday.