Israel | A race against time to agree on an anti-Netanyahu government

(Jerusalem) On the eve of the deadline, opponents of outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday rushed to negotiate an agreement on a new government that is supposed to embody “change” and end more than two years of political crisis.

Daphne Rossio and Claire Junon
France Media

Distribution of ministries and the sharing of key positions: Marathon negotiations are underway between the main teams of leaders from the left, center, and part of the right, including the right-wing coalition, the alliance of the radical right leader Naftali Bennett, approached as the future prime minister in the framework of the rotation of power.

The leaders of the main factions gathered in a hotel on the outskirts of Tel Aviv around opposition leader Yair Lapid “in an attempt to reach an agreement,” according to a statement issued by Yamina.

“Everyone is working hard to try to finalize the agreement as soon as possible,” a source close to the talks told AFP at the end of the evening.

“We are in the right direction,” Mansour Abbas, leader of the Israeli (Islamic four representatives) Arab party, said upon arrival at the meeting. “As long as it is not over, nothing will end.”

All eyes are on this formation and the other Arab Israeli party, the Unified List, while the anti-Netanyahu camp has only four supporters to rally to reach the threshold of 61 deputies required to form a government.

Mr. Abbas has said in the past that he is willing to negotiate with anyone who wants to serve the interests of the Arab Israeli community (20% of the population of Israel).

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Yair Lapid, who was tasked by the president in early May with forming a coalition after Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure, has until Wednesday 11:59 pm (4:59 pm ET) to present a draft of the “national unity government” agreement.

Until then, it is mainly about overcoming each other’s ministerial divisions and allegations, particularly with regard to the highly coveted defense or justice portfolios.

” new era ” ?

“Until the formation of the government, there are still many obstacles,” Yasser Lapid said on Monday. “This is our first test, to see if we can find smart compromises. […] In the coming week, Israel may find itself in a new era. ”

The status quo in the conflict with the Palestinians, the economic recovery, the status of religion: everything on paper divides the diverse anti-Netanyahu coalition away from its desire to topple 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 he is the first Israeli prime minister to face criminal charges while in office. If he leaves power, he becomes a petty 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 confidence from Parliament.

Meanwhile, anything is possible. Benjamin Netanyahu, his right-wing Likud party, and his lawyers are maneuvering to try to block a possible coalition agreement.

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According to the Israeli press, Parliament Speaker Yariv Levin, of the Likud party, may be tempted to prolong the organization of the vote of confidence in Parliament, hoping for this intermediate period of defections in the anti-Netanyahu camp.

Another sign of fever, Likud lawyers have taken over the presidency of Israel to raise a constitutional point in the government rotation project outlined by Yair Lapid.

According to a text surveyed by Agence France-Presse, the presidency removed the legal question, indicating that Mr. Bennett could be the first to assume the premiership.

In this climate of intense tensions where a potential government deal is denounced as a “betrayal” by supporters of Netanyahu, the security of Mr. Bennett and Lapid has been strengthened, according to their training.

There have been protests in recent days for and against Netanyahu.

If Mr. Lapid fails to form the government before the deadline, MPs can request the president to reassign a member of Parliament. Or it will be back to the polls for the fivee Times in just over two years.

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