It went to the wire but at 11.30 pm last night, just 30 minutes before his 21-day mandate to form a government expired, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid informed President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming a government. Lapid told Rivlin, "The government will do everything in its power to unite and to connect between the different parts of Israeli society."
Lapid presented Rivlin with a document signed by the leaders of the parties supporting the new coalition. Lapid himself and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett as well as New Hope head Gideon Saar, Blue & White head Benny Gantz, Israel Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman, Labor party head Meirav Michaeli, Meretz head Nitzan Horowitz, and last but not least Ra'am head Mansour Abbas.
Rivlin thanked Lapid and said, "I welcome you and the heads of the parties with this summary of the formation of a government. We expect the Knesset to assemble as quickly as possible to approve the government, as required.
The last piece of the puzzle came together when Meirav Michaeli agreed to compromise with Yamina's Ayelet Shaked. In a rotation agreement between the two, Shaked will serve first on the committee for appointing judges followed by Michaeli.
In the new government, Naftali Bennett will serve as Prime Minister for the first two years, rotating with alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid. Benny Gantz will be Minister of Defense, Avigdor Liberman will be Minister of Finance, Ayelet Shaked will be Minister of the Interior, Gideon Saar Minister of Justice, Zeev Elkin will be Minister of Construction and Housing, Yifat Sasha Biton will be Minister of Education, Meirav Michaeli will be Minister of Transport, Omer Bar Lev will be Minister of Internal Security, Nitzan Horowitz will be Minister of Health, and Tamar Zandberg will be Minister of the Environment.
The next hurdle for Lapid will be to get the government approved by the Knesset, which is expected to convene for the vote on June 14.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 3, 2021
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