נציגי תקווה חדשה בסבב ההמלצות אצל הנשיא
President Reuven Rivlin holds a round of consultations with New Hope representatives in his official residence in Jerusalem
Photo: Yonatan Siendel
President Reuven Rivlin holds a round of consultations with New Hope representatives in his official residence in Jerusalem

Netanyahu musters most PM endorsements after New Hope abstains

With 52 backers, Likud chairman best positioned to receive government mandate; Lapid says offered Bennett power-sharing deal, with Yamina leader first to lead, calls on potential partners to stand strong against Netanyahu

Sivan Hillaie, Moran Azulay, Itamar Eichner |
Published: 04.05.21 , 20:39
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.
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  • 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 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to most endorsements.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    נציגי תקווה חדשה בסבב ההמלצות אצל הנשיא
    נציגי תקווה חדשה בסבב ההמלצות אצל הנשיא
    President Reuven Rivlin holds a round of consultations with New Hope representatives in his official residence in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Yonatan Siendel)
    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.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: AP)
    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.
    He urged his potential partners to stand firm against Benjamin Netanyahu's attempts to dismantle their parties in order to garner the majority he needs.
    "[Netanyahu] has no government, he has no majority, he is beholden to the extremists. This is a long game, the winner will be the one who is determined enough, patient enough and focused on their objectives," he said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    יאיר לפיד
    יאיר לפיד
    Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid
    "There has never been a more just political battle and it will only end with our victory."
    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.”
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