Netanyahu’s opponents have just announced they have made an agreement to form a government, which could mean the ousting of Netanyahu as PM:
TIMES OF ISRAEL – Thirty-five minutes before a midnight deadline, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday night informed President Reuven Rivlin he is able to form a government in which he and Yamina chief Naftali Bennett will switch off as prime minister, positioning themselves to replace Israel’s longest-serving leader Benjamin Netanyahu as premier.
Under the terms of the new coalition, Bennett is to serve as prime minister until September 2023, when Lapid will take over from him until the end of the Knesset term in November 2025. The agreement came together after Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas threw his support behind the would-be government late on Wednesday night, setting up his Islamist party to be the first majority Arab party to be part of a ruling coalition in Israel’s history.
Despite Lapid’s declaration, it remained unclear that the prospective “change government” will make it past the finish line. It is set to include 61 of the 120 MKs — the narrowest possible majority. And an MK from Bennett’s Yamina, Nir Orbach, earlier on Wednesday night announced he could vote against the new coalition, a move that could potentially doom the prospective razor-thin government of right-wing, centrist, left-wing parties and the Islamist Ra’am.
Here’s what happens now:
The Knesset must now schedule a vote of confidence in the new government. However, as the next plenum session is not until Monday, June 7, it would only be then that the Knesset Speaker, Likud’s Yariv Levin, is formally informed that he needs to schedule a vote on the new government.
He then has up to a week to schedule that vote, so it may only be held on June 14, giving Netanyahu and his supporters 12 days to try to deprive Lapid and Bennett of their majority.
With these two parties only having a majority by one more vote than the minority, this new government idea is hanging by a thread at this point. If Nir Orbach votes against it, they’ll be back to square one and Israel will move to elections for the 5th or 6th time (I lost count).