Netanyahu Trying to Form Own Government, Bypass Elections


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In the wake of the announcement by Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett that he will dissolve the Knesset and call new elections, the coalition may vote on such a move as early as Wednesday, according to officials in the Yesh Atid party of Yair Lapid. Initially the vote was supposed to take place next Monday. The reason for the current hurried vote is in an attempt to stave off opposition plans to form an alternative government with disenchanted MKs from the current coalition.

Israeli media reported that Bennett and Lapid, who is touted to be caretaker prime minister before elections, were concerned that opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu would try and use the time until next week to draw support from discontented coalition members and form a government

The opposition could forge its own government as an alternate via a complicated legislative procedure known as a constructive no-confidence motion.

The Likud has been holding protracted negotiations with members of New Hope and Yamina in an attempt to garner support for a right-wing coalition.

Currently, the opposition holds 55 seats in Likud’s right-religious bloc and another six belonging to the majority Arab Joint List party, which will not support a Netanyahu-led government. However if Ayelet Shaked, deliberately ignored by Naftali Bennett when he announced the dissolution of the government, and Abir Kare join the opposition, it will number 57 and if they succeed in garnering the support of Gidon Sa’ar and other members of his party, the opposition might be able to form a right-wing government in the current Knesset.

Members of both Yamina and New Hope are wary of another election cycle, during which right-wing opponents can hammer them for their associations with Arabs and leftists in the current government, and which could see them fail to garner enough support to re-enter the Knesset. Current polls see both parties on the verge of the election threshold.

Following the Knesset’s dissolution, Lapid is slated to become caretaker prime minister until a new government is sworn in, as per the original coalition agreement. Bennett is expected to become alternate prime minister, a post that Lapid currently holds, and will also be responsible for the “Iran portfolio,” Hebrew media reports said. Elections are slated for after the Sukkot holiday.

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