The leaders of four opposition factions met Tuesday afternoon, in a bid to reach a final agreement paving the way for the establishment of a national unity government replacing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s caretaker government.
With just a day and a half left before his mandate to form a governing coalition expires, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) convened a meeting with Yamina leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar, and Yisrael Beytenu chief Avidgor Liberman.
The meeting was convened following marathon negotiations overnight between representatives of the opposition factions.
Sources from the change bloc told Channel 13 Tuesday that Lapid hopes to make a formal declaration to President Reuven Rivlin that he has succeeded in putting together a coalition backed by 61 MKs.
Lapid must be able to secure majority support in the Knesset by Wednesday night, or lose the mandate to form a government, sending the mandate to the Knesset, which will be charged with electing a new premier.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Likud announced that it had petitioned the President’s office not to permit Naftali Bennett to serve as prime minister first in a rotational deal, arguing that since Lapid held the mandate to form a coalition, he must serve as prime minister, not alternate prime minister.
Udit Corinaldi-Sirkis, the legal advisor to the President’s office, responded to the Likud petition, confirming that if the new government will include a power-sharing arrangement, the details must be included in Lapid’s declaration before midnight Wednesday.
However, Corinaldi-Sirkis did not accept the Likud’s claim that because Lapid had been tasked with forming a government, he must serve first as prime minister in any rotational arrangement.
Source: David Rosenberg – Arutz Sheva