Today, the Likud, Blue & White, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Labor parties submitted to President Reuven Rivlin 72 signatures of members of Knesset on recommendations that he should invite Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government. This followed the High Court of Justice's rejection of petitions to disqualify Netanyahu from becoming prime minister again on the grounds of the indictments against him on corruption charges. Under the rotation agreement with Blue & White, Netanyahu will be prime minister for eighteen months, and Blue & White leader Benny Gantz will replace him for the next eighteen months, with the duration of the Knesset being reduced from four years to three.
The Yamina party, one of Likud's natural partners, decided not to join those recommending Netanyahu. Yamina leader Naftali Bennett told Netanyahu that he wanted to understand the new government's basic policy outlines, and that Yamina would join his government only if it could have substantial influence, having unreservedly supported him and the nationalist camp for months.
In his announcement to the president, Netanyahu wrote, "In accordance with section 10 of The Basic Law: The Government, I have the honor of presenting you with the request of a majority of the members of the Knesset to impose on me, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, the task of forming the government. I intend to present an emergency unity government, a government of alternates, headed by me with MK Benny Gantz as alternate prime minister, on Wednesday, May 13."
Over the next few days, the division of portfolios will be decided, as well as the identity of the chairpersons of Knesset committees and the next Speaker of the Knesset. Several senior Likud ministers fear that they will lose their ministerial positions since Netanyahu has to allocate sixteen ministerial posts, including ministers from Shas and United Torah Judaism.
President Rivlin immediately tweeted that he had received the document and the signatures of the 72 members of Knesset.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 7, 2020
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