Status: 05/05/2021 7:31 PM

After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s failed attempt, opposition leader Lapid was tasked with forming a government in Israel. Thus, Likud could join the opposition in twelve years.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tasked opposition leader Jair Lapid with forming a government. He said he spoke to Lapid and granted him the mandate to form a government.

Lapid received recommendations from 56 deputies. Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jamina party, which had previously requested as Lapid the mandate to form a government, received only seven recommendations. Previously, the incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu was not able to obtain a capable majority.

A fragmented party scene

Lapid is the leader of the moderate Yesh Atid party and has the support of four smaller parties. “I will do everything in my power to ensure the formation of an Israeli unity government as quickly as possible so that we can start working for the citizens of Israel,” he said. In order to achieve a majority of 61 MPs, a number of parties and lists across the political spectrum must be united. According to observers, this should not be easy.

The 57-year-old entered politics after his career as a TV presenter. He served as finance minister in the previous Netanyahu government. He is now seeking an alliance without Netanyahu’s participation. He had already announced that he was ready to share the prime minister’s position with Bennett. So far, however, there has been no agreement between Bennett and Lapid.

Not an absolute majority

The problems of forming the government can be traced back to the result of the parliamentary elections in March, which were not clear. Netanyahu, against whom corruption measures are still pending, was first tasked with forming a government after elections in March. His Likud party was the strongest party in the election, winning 30 of the 120 parliamentary seats, but clearly losing the absolute majority of 61 seats. Lapid Yesh Atid’s party has become the second strongest force.

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The search for potential coalition partners was complicated from the start due to unclear majorities. Last night, Netanyahu’s deadline to form a government expired. Shortly before, Rivlin informed that he was unable to form a government.

The nominee appointed by the president now has four weeks to form a coalition and can apply for a two-week extension. If there are new elections, then Netanyahu may also have a chance to become prime minister again. Otherwise, his Likud party could join the opposition for the first time in twelve years.

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