A compromise presented by Habait HaYehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett
means a government is finally in the works on Wednesday: Yesh Atid
Chairman Yair Lapid will be receiving the Education Ministry portfolio for Shay Piron and will forgo his demands for the role of Interior Minister.
According to the proposal, Bennett will receive the Knesset Finance Committee, the Likud
will receive an additional deputy minister and the agreement with Tzipi Livni's
party will remain in place.
The Habait HaYehudi party estimates that the compromise will be accepted by Yesh Atid and the Likud on Wednesday night. Lapid's party was optimistic and said that things were going in a "positive direction."
Lapid's negotiation representative met with Yisrael Beiteinu
Chairman Avigdor Lieberman
and officially heard the proposal.
Earlier on Wednesday, Lapid and Bennett met at the former's home in Tel Aviv to discuss the Likud's declaration that if Yesh Atid's chairman did not lower his demands, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
would then go on to conduct negotiations with the haredi parties and form a government without Lapid.
Responding to Likud's ultimatum, Bennett wrote on his Facebook page: "My friends from Likud. Forget about it. It won't work like this. There are gaps. We have to talk and compromise. All of us. Until a government is established. There is a country we need to worry about."
Likud, Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi
have already reached an agreement on raising the electoral threshold from 2% to 4%. During talks held earlier in the week the sides also agreed on a bill for equal share of the national burden, as well as on the size of the next government.
According to the agreement, the next cabinet will be smaller and include 20 ministers (not including Netanyahu) and eight deputy ministers.
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett met with Netanyahu Tuesday night in an attempt to settle the differences between Likud and Yesh Atid. During the meeting Bennett spoke to Lapid several times over the phone.
Netanyahu hoped to present his new cabinet on Wednesday, but the sides failed to finalize an agreement that would see Yesh Atid join a Likud-led government, mainly due to Lapid's demand that his party get the education portfolio.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report
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