יאיר לפיד
Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid
Photo: The Knesset Channel
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Sources: PM plans to torpedo Lapid chance of forming government

According to sources close to Netanyahu, the premier - whose mandate to form government expires on Tuesday - will try to get the entire right-wing bloc to recommend 'out of field' Steinitz to Rivlin, making it hard for the president to task Yesh Atid leader

Moran Azulay |
Published: 05.03.21 , 11:54
Sources close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday the premier is seeking to torpedo Yair Lapid's chance of forming a government by forcing President Reuven Rivlin to pass the mandate directly to the Knesset.
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  • According to sources, Netanyahu plans to get the entire right-wing bloc to recommend to Rivlin that an "out of field" candidate, apparently Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, is tasked with forming a coalition.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו יובל שטייניץ
    בנימין נתניהו יובל שטייניץ
    Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Ynet)
    This would leave Lapid with only 45 recommendations as opposed to Steinitz's presumed 52, making it hard for the president to task the centrist Yesh Atid leader with the mandate.
    If the mandate is then passed to the Knesset, the Arrangements Committee, which makes recommendations as to who should chair the government committees, will remain in the hands of the Likud.
    Netanyahu's mandate is set to expire Tuesday at 00:00.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    יאיר לפיד
    יאיר לפיד
    Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid
    (Photo: The Knesset Channel)
    Netanyahu apparently believes the advantage of such a scenario is that Yamina Chairman Naftali Bennett and even New Hope chief Gideon Saar will be put under great pressure to recommend Netanyahu's candidate.
    Saar has made it clear in the past that if Netanyahu compromises on some of the issues, he may support a Likud-led government.
    It is unclear, however, how Rivlin will react in such a scenario given the move would be a clear political trick.

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