Opposition Leader Yair Lapid Tasked With Forming Israel’s Next Government

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid Tasked With Forming Israel’s Next Government

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday gave opposition leader Yair Lapid the task of forming a government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so by a Tuesday night deadline.

Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, will now have 28-days, to try and form a majority coalition in Israel’s 120-seat parliament. He faces an uphill battle to complete the task because he must build a coalition with a range of parties from the left, right, and center that have little in common except for their opposition to Netanyahu. Netanyahu is certain to do everything he can to stop Lapid from forming a government and becoming prime minister.

Still, Lapid expressed optimism and vowed to form a broad, unity government to end the years of political deadlock in Israel.

“We need a government that will reflect the fact that we don’t hate one another,” he said. “A government in which left, right, and center will work together to tackle the economic and security challenges we face. A government that will show that our differences are a source of strength, not weakness.”

Lapid currently has the backing of a group of parties that hold a total of 56 seats in parliament. He, like Netanyahu, needs 61 to form a majority.
Any agreement will need the support of Yamina, a right-wing party led by Naftali Bennett, a former Netanyahu aid turned rival. Lapid has already offered Bennett a rotation agreement splitting the job of prime minister. Under the proposal, Bennett would be prime minister first and then Yapid would get the post.

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Source: CBN

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