Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed the midnight deadline to form a new coalition government on Tuesday, raising the possibility that his Likud party would be pushed into the opposition for the first time in 12 years.
The deadline closed the four-week window given to Netanyahu by the representative president of Israel. The problem is now back to President Reuven Rivlin. President Reuven Rivlin announced on Wednesday that he would contact 13 political parties with parliamentary seats to discuss “continuing the government-building process.”
Librin is expected to give one of Netanyahu’s opponents the opportunity to form an alternative coalition government in the coming days. He could also ask Congress to choose one of his own members as prime minister. If everything else fails, the country will be forced into a fifth election this fall in just over two years.
The turmoil does not mean that Netanyahu will be immediately expelled as prime minister. But he is now facing a serious threat to his long domination. His opponents have already held informal talks in recent weeks, hoping to conclude a power-sharing agreement, despite deep ideological differences.
Netanyahu has been struggling to secure a majority in parliament since March 23, when elections ended four times in a row in the last two years. Despite repeated meetings with many of his rivals and an unprecedented outreach to the leaders of the small Muslim Arab Party, Netanyahu was unable to close the deal.
Librin gave Netanyahu the first opportunity to form a coalition last month after 52 parliamentarians approved Netanyahu as prime minister. It was less than half, but the most among the leaders.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid, with the support of 45 lawmakers, now seems to be the most likely candidate to have the opportunity to form a government.
Naftali Bennett, the leader of the small religious and nationalist Yamina party, is also possible. Former Netanyahu ally rival Bennett, who controls only seven seats in Congress, has emerged as a kind of kingmaker and is needed by Rapid to secure a majority in Congress. Seems to have a vote.
Rapid said he was already ready to share the prime minister’s work with Bennett, who was the first to take turns. So far, they haven’t reached a firm agreement.
In a brief statement, Netanyahu’s Likud party accused Bennett of the prime minister’s failure.
“Because Bennett refused to participate in the right-wing government, there is no doubt that it will lead to the formation of a government with other members of the Knesset,” the statement said.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Party, called on Netanyahu’s opponents to line up behind Rapid.
“The Israelites have been hit one after another: pandemics, unemployment, ugly politics, loss of confidence in leadership, and deep polarization,” he said. “We can settle everything within a few hours. It is our duty to form a government as quickly as possible for the state of Israel and all its citizens.”
Netanyahu, who is being tried for corruption, has become a divisive figure in Israeli politics, and the last four elections are all considered a referendum of his rule. Most of his struggle arose from obstacles created by former allies of his own religious and nationalist foundations.
The New Hope Party, led by former Netanyahu aide, refused to serve under the prime minister due to wide individual differences. Religious Zionism, a far-right party that openly favors a racist platform, favored Netanyahu but excluded him from serving the government with his Arab partner in court.
Benjamin, who had a tense relationship with Netanyahu, was unable to reach an agreement with his former mentor.
It was his corruption trial that approached Netanyahu. Netanyahu was charged with fraud, lieutenant and bribery in a series of scandals. The trial has moved to the witness stage, with embarrassing testimony accusing him of exchanging favors with a powerful media mogul. Netanyahu has denied the charges.
Over the last few weeks, Netanyahu has become more and more frustrated, one day spoiling his potential partners and the next day blaming them with Vitriol.
Last week’s deadly crowd accident at a religious festival where 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews were killed complicated his work by creating an unwelcome diversion and about the possibility of his watch’s negligence. Requested an official investigation.
Netanyahu also suffers from a series of embarrassing and featureless defeats in Congress. On Tuesday, Likud was unable to proceed with a proposal for a direct election of the prime minister. Opponents panned this measure as Netanyahu’s desperate attempt to find a new way to seize power.
Despite all Netanyahu’s vulnerabilities, it remains unclear whether his enemies can form an alternative government.
Opponents include a wide range of political parties that have little in common except for hostility to Netanyahu. He is expected to make every effort in the coming weeks to prevent his opponents from closing the deal.
If they fail, he will remain in office until the next election. It will give him months to fight his alleged corruption from the perch of the Prime Minister’s Office, and give him yet another opportunity to win a new term with possible immunity from prosecution.
Associated Press writer Ilan BenZion contributed to this report.
Netanyahu misses deadline, political future in question – NBC4 Washington
Source link Netanyahu misses deadline, political future in question – NBC4 Washington