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Saar pours cold water on Netanyahu’s last bid to remain in power

A mandate for Lapid to put together a coalition after four inconclusive elections in two years expires on Wednesday

Sunday May 30, 2021 8:12 PM, ummid.com News Network

Gideon Saar

Tel Aviv: Gideon Saar, head of the rightist New Horizon party, Sunday rejected Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest proposal, billed as his last bid to remain in power.

Saar’s refusal to be part of Netanyahu’s proposed coalition came soon after the latter offered to go second in a "triple rotation" of the premiership of a right-wing government.

Under the blueprint, published by a Likud spokesman, Saar would become prime minister for 15 months, followed by Netanyahu for two years and then Bennett for an unspecified "remainder of its term".

Saar, a former Likud cabinet minister, swiftly rejected the offer, writing on Twitter:

"Our position and commitment are unchanged - to end Netanyahu's rule."

Netanyahu is Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister. His new proposal came after media reports that opposition Chief Yair Lapid is closing in on an alliance of right-wing, centrist and leftist parties.

A mandate for Lapid to put together a coalition after four inconclusive elections in two years expires on Wednesday.

Lapid's chances of success rest largely with far-right politician Naftali Bennett, a kingmaker whose Yamina party has six key seats in parliament.

Bennett, 49, was widely expected to announce, possibly as early as Sunday, whether he would team up with Lapid, who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party, according to Reuters.

Speculations are rife in Israel that Bennett could agree to go with Lapid. However, Lapid-Bennett partnership will still require outside backing by Arab members of parliament whose political views differ sharply from Bennett’s Yamina's.

If Lapid, 57, fails to announce a government by Wednesday, a fifth Israeli election since April 2019 – a prospect Bennett has said he wants to avoid – is likely.

Netanyahu faces serious corruption charges, and cases against him and his wife are pending before the court. Political observers feel in order to avoid facing court he is trying everything in hand to remain in power.

The recent escalation in East Jerusalem and provocation inside Al Aqsa Mosque that led to 11-day bloody war between Israel and Hamas is also seen a move on the similar lines.


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