by: Sivan Hillaie, Moran Azulay, Itamar Eichner
Tuesday, 6 April 2021 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday won a plurality of nominations by his fellow lawmakers to form the next government and potentially keep his position.
The Likud chairman became the likely forerunner after ally-turned-foe Gideon Saar’s New Hope decided to abstain and not recommend any candidate for prime minister to President Reuven Rivlin, thus ensuring Netanyahu will have the most endorsements.
Netanyahu received 52 votes, while Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid had 45 and Yamina chief Naftali Bennett had seven.
Netanyahu has been backed by his own Likud Party (30 votes) and his right-wing electoral bloc, constituting of the ultra-Orthodox Shas (9) and United Torah Judaism parties (7) and the Religious Zionist alliance (6).
Lapid was backed by his own party (17), Blue & White (8), Yisrael Beitenu (7), Labor (7) and Meretz (6).
Bennett was backed by his own party, which holds seven seats in the next Knesset.
The Arab Ra’am (4) and Joint List (6) parties joined New Hope (6) in refusing to endorse a candidate.
In his first public statement since the March 23 election, Lapid said that he offered Naftali Bennett to form a government on a rotational basis, with the Yamina leader first to serve as prime minister.
Earlier, New Hope representatives requested President Rivlin to broker a power-sharing agreement between Lapid and Bennett.
The president rejected the proposal, calling such a move a “political intervention.”
Posted on April 6, 2021
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