Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin

New Lapid-Bennett coalition could be sworn in as soon as Wednesday

Members of new government were concerned that Knesset Speaker from Likud could stall vote; heads of all parties in new coalition set to meet Sunday; right-wing pressure continues on Yamina, with MK requesting additional protection after she was followed

Moran Azulay |
Published: 06.06.21 , 12:17
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin is considering the option of convening parliament on Wednesday in order to swear in the new government put together last week by centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, which would end Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year rule as prime minister.
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  • Any new government must be approved a 61-MK majority vote in the Knesset plenum.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    יריב לוין
    יריב לוין
    Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Many within the so-called coalition for change expressed concern that Levin, a member of Likud, would use his authority to postpone the new government's inauguration as far as possible, thereby allowing Netanyahu time to woo away right-wing members of the nascent coalition.
    Even so, Likud MK and coalition whip Miki Zohar told Ynet on Sunday that the democratic process would respected, but emphasized that he did not see the new government as a good prospect.
    Levin, a close associate of Netanyahu, said Friday he would announce to the plenum that Lapid had succeeded in forming a coalition, a technical step needed before Knesset can approve a new government.
    The speaker also called on Lapid and political partner Naftali Bennett, the Yamina leader who will serve as prime minister first in a rotation agreement, to submit all the accords they have signed with the parties in the coalition.
    The agreements were reached by Wednesday, but have not yet been finalized. According to the law, a new coalition must publish its agreements at least 24 hours before the Knesset votes to approve it.
    Yamina and Yesh Atid in response lambasted Levin, demanding that he convene the plenum to swear in the new government as soon as possible.
    "The coalition agreements and the government's guidelines will, of course, be made public and transparent after their final signing," the two parties said in a joint statement.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    נפתלי בנט ויאיר לפיד מדברים במליאת הכנסת
    נפתלי בנט ויאיר לפיד מדברים במליאת הכנסת
    Yamina head Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid at the Knesset plenum last week
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    Last week, Yesh Atid filed a petition to the Knesset Secretariat, calling on Levin to hold a plenum vote to replace him as Knesset speaker in an effort to fast-track the creation of the government.
    However, Yamina MK Nir Orbach retracted his signature, putting the coalition one vote short of the 61 MKs needed for the measure.
    The two right-wing parties in the new coalition, Yamina and New Hope, refused to agree to having to rely on the predominantly Arab Joint List to muster the majority needed to replace Levin with Blue & White MK Mickey Levy.
    The heads of all the parties in the coalition-in-waiting were to meet Sunday for the first time since Lapid announced he managed to form a government, in order to discuss the agreements between them.
    Earlier Sunday, the Yamina faction met at Bennett's Ra'anana residence amid continued pressure from other members of the right-wing bloc not to support a government with Lapid. Daily protests by Netanyahu supporters and other members of the right have taken place outside the home of Yamina lawmakers.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    עידית סילמן
    עידית סילמן
    Yamina MK Idit Silman outside the Ra'anana home of Naftali Bennett on Friday
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    Yamina MK Idit Silman on Sunday requested additional protection from the Knesset Guard amid threats against her.
    On Friday, Silman sent a voice message to the party's WhatsApp group, claiming that she was being followed while driving.
    "I don’t really feel good, there’s a car that’s chasing me on the street," she told the group. "I’d like to know what you think I can do. They followed me out of the house and are following me everywhere I go."
    Silman said that she would vote for the government at the Knesset plenum.

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