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Rivlin says he will ask Lapid to form a coalition, but will not give a mandate to Bennett

President Reuven Rivlin is likely to sign Yesh Atid President Yair Lapid to form the next government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to do so by Tuesday night’s deadline, but is unlikely to consider proposing it to Yamina leader Naftali Bennett. the Jewish media.

Netanyahu was given the first opportunity to form a coalition on April 6th after receiving 52 recommendations to Lapid’s 45th.

Rivlin, who as Israeli president is tasked with authorizing a lawmaker to form a government, could extend Netanyahu beyond 28 days ending Tuesday night, hand over the mandate to another lawmaker or send it to the Knesset for a 21-day period. , after which a fifth election will automatically be called if no one can form a government.

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The president prefers the second option, according to Jewish media on Monday, and is scheduled to transfer Lapid̵

7;s government term, as he received the second biggest recommendation when Rivlin consulted with party officials after March 23.

President Rowan Rivlin meets with the Yesh Atid party at the presidential residence in Jerusalem, April 5, 2021 (Jonathan Sindel / Flash90)

Rivlin may also offer Bennett a chance to form a government, but reports, citing senior political sources, say the president is unlikely to take that path. Even if Netanyahu and a majority of right-wing lawmakers decide to change their recommendations to Rivlin to support Bennett, the president is not expected to hand over the presidency to President Yamina, the reports said.

That’s because the move would largely be seen as an attempt to extend Netanyahu’s term to form the government after failing to do so in the past month, senior political figures told Rivlin on Channel 12 and Ha ‘. aretz.

Moreover, it would repeal the initial recommendations made by the parties after the elections, which are not intended to be subject to change.

There is no reason for the mandate not to go to Lapid unless Bennett declares publicly that there is no interest from the government in “change,” a senior political source told Haaretz, citing a coalition of anti-Netanyahu-seeking parties. of Likud.

As Bennett insisted he preferred to join a right-wing government, he reiterated on Monday that Netanyahu lacked the votes to form such a coalition and said Yamina was negotiating with Lapid to form a unity government as an alternative.

Party leader Yamina Naftali Bennett speaks at a faction meeting in the Knesset on May 3, 2021 (Jonathan Sindel / Flash90)

“Rivlin will not lend a hand to the political trick in which Netanyahu will recommend Bennett, just to keep the chances of an incumbent prime minister to return Israel to the elections. If the scenario in which Netanyahu formed a right-wing government was possible, it would have already been formed, “the source added.

The official told Haaretz that Rivlin was also unlikely to send the matter to the Knesset to resolve it, as it would likely sentence Israel to a fifth election in just two years.

If the mandate goes to the Knesset, an absolute majority of at least 61 of the 120 MK will be needed to vote in favor of a particular legislator to form the next government, and “there is no chance that (Arab majority) the Joint List and Raam’s parties will sign Bennett’s appointments, “the source said.

With less than two days to form a coalition, Netanyahu said on Monday he was ready to step down as prime minister and let Bennett serve as prime minister first in a rotation agreement, a proposal immediately rejected by Bennett. , who said in response that Netanyahu simply did not have the votes.

Opposition leader Lapid, meanwhile, said he expected Rivlin to instruct him to form a government “if nothing surprising happens” before Tuesday night, but that he would like to let Bennett serve as prime minister initially in any rotation agreement between them. .

Meanwhile, Channel 13 reported on Monday night that Lapid had offered Bennett to become prime minister first in their power-sharing agreement for a period of two years and three months, after which Bennett would be appointed foreign minister and Lapid would take over. the post of prime minister.

Lapid also promises a senior portfolio for Yamina’s Ayelet Shaked (either internal or public security) and two or three additional portfolios for right-wing party members of seven MK if a government is formed.

Lapid is also ready to give Bennett’s right-wing bloc within a potential coalition for unity broad veto powers, the network said.

Netanyahu, by contrast, offered Bennett to become prime minister first in a rotating deal, but only for a year; senior portfolio for Shaked; and eventually Yamina to be united with Likud in a future election race.

In this photo from November 24, 2019, the Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett and the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit the base of the Israeli army in the Golan Heights, on the Israeli-Syrian border. (Atef Safadi / Pool via AP, file)

Although Yamina won only seven seats in the March election, Bennett became a potential king and even king.

The last election, the fourth in April 2019, ended without difficulty, with Netanyahu’s right-wing religious bloc again failing to win a ruling majority, in part because three right-wing parties ran with the declared goal of replacing him.

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