With the deadline for Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) to form a government nearing, the Likud is quietly working to win majority backing in the Knesset in a bid to secure a coalition to re-elect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once Lapid’s mandate expires.
According to top Likud officials, however, the Likud has dropped plans to offer rotational power-sharing arrangements with opposition party leaders.
With just nine days left until Lapid’s mandate to form a government expires, sending the mandate back to the Knesset, senior Likud officials told Israel Hayom Monday morning that the party is no longer interested in allowing opposition party leaders the chance to serve as premier for part of the next government’s term.
Previously, the Likud had offered such an arrangement to Yamina chief Naftali Bennett, New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White).
Now, however, Likud officials say the offer has been withdrawn.
“The ideas about Naftali Bennett being prime minister first aren’t relevant. It won’t happen, it can’t be implemented, it isn’t practical. The question is whether we can agree with him about something which will effectively make him the second most powerful official in the government. But it isn’t clear that’s possible. We’re trying.”
One official cited by the report said that “Netanyahu won’t give a rotational [deal]. In the public reality today, that won’t work. Especially after Bennett went over to the other side,” referring to Bennett’s coalition talks with Yair Lapid.
“It doesn’t work like that. You can’t try to get something from the other side, then come back to us and get what we offered you before. It just isn’t possible. When the offer was made, there were more than a few people opposed to it. There’s no way that a person with six seats will be made prime minister, it can’t happen.”