(Jerusalem) Opponents of the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have until midnight on Wednesday to announce a possible deal on a government that is supposed to push the country into a “new era” and turn the page on more than two years of political crisis.
Marathon negotiations continued late into the night as a Wednesday deadline of 11:59 p.m. (4:59 p.m. EDT) by the presidency to form a coalition approaches.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc, as expected, failed to reach its agreement as the full Israeli parliament convened Wednesday morning for an election on the 11th.e President of the State of Israel, a long-awaited deadline.
Labor 60-year-old Isaac Herzog was elected to an honorary position mostly without executive power.
Coincidentally, Israel had a new elected president at midday, but there was still a new elected prime minister.
The three-day government-formation grab negotiations bring together key leadership teams from the left, center and part of the right, including Yamina, the coalition of radical right-wing leader Naftali Bennett, approaching the position of future prime minister as part of a power rotation.
“Everyone is working hard to try to finalize an agreement as soon as possible,” a source close to the center-wide discussions, Yair Lapid, told AFP on Tuesday evening.
For now, the various parties involved in the negotiations have to overcome divisions and ministerial claims to each other, particularly with regard to the much-coveted Defense and Justice Ministers.
‘Lots of obstacles’
Lapid estimated on Monday, who was assigned by the President of the Republic in early May, to form a new ministerial team, “until the formation of the government, there are still many obstacles.” “This is our first test. […] Next week, Israel may find itself in a new era.
The status quo in the conflict with the Palestinians, economic recovery, the standing of religion: everything on paper divides the diverse anti-Netanyahu coalition away from its desire to bring down the prime minister, who came to power 25 years ago, from 1996 to 1999, and was reappointed in 2009.
He was tried for “corruption” in three cases, and is the first Israeli prime minister to face criminal charges while in office. If he leaves power, he becomes a minor deputy and will not be able to use his influence to try to pass a law to protect him from his legal troubles.
If Yasser Lapid announces an agreement before Wednesday evening, he will have seven days to distribute the portfolios and obtain the confidence of Parliament.
In the meantime, anything is possible. Benjamin Netanyahu, his right-wing Likud party and his lawyers are maneuvering to try to block a possible coalition deal.
According to the Israeli press, the Speaker of Parliament, Yariv Levin (Likud), may be tempted to prolong an additional week in organizing the vote of confidence in Parliament, hoping in this period of splits in the anti-Netanyahu camp.
Another sign of tension, Likud lawyers took over the Presidency of Israel to make a constitutional point in the draft government rotation outlined by Yair Lapid.
According to a text polled by AFP, the presidency removed the legal question, indicating that Mr. Bennett could be the first to head the government.
In this climate of heightened tensions where a potential government deal is denounced as a “betrayal” by Netanyahu supporters, Mr. Bennett and Lapid’s security has been beefed up, according to their training.
In the event that Mr. Lapid fails to form a government before midnight on Wednesday, MPs may ask the president to reauthorize a member of parliament. Or it will be back to the polls for the fivee times in just over two years.