Israel ends an experimental coalition government, which lasted only a year, and calls for early elections.
With 92 votes in favor and none against, the legislators on June 30 approved the dissolution of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament.
So Naftali Bennet ends his post as prime minister and will be the shortest-lived person in that post in the country. Bennet will be replaced by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid, on an interim basis.
After the vote, Lapid hugged Bennett before the two exchanged chairs. “Thank you, Naftali, my brother,” the interim leader later posted on his Twitter account.
The government fell just over a year after it was formed in an unprecedented move that saw prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leave office after 12 years in power for a coalition of ideologically diverse parties and the first to included an Arab faction.
But as a result of disagreements between the various parties of the new Administration came the offer of dissolution and the political experiment was ended.
The death blow came earlier this month when the government failed to renew an emergency law preserving the special legal status of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, legislation that most Israelis consider essential.
As the Knesset was dissolved before the end of the month, the emergency law is automatically renewed until after the formation of a new Administration.
The outgoing coalition made history by being the first to include an Arab party. Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Islamist Ra’am faction, rallied to get better services and more government funding for Israel’s Arab minority, which makes up about 20% of the population. It is not certain whether they will achieve the same political inclusion in the next government.
a new electoral duel between Lapid and Netanyahu
What is expected to be a bitter electoral battle is between Lapid, in his post as interim prime minister, and Netanyahu, who is now the leader of the opposition.
Bennett, a former Army commander and technology millionaire, is not running in the election. In a statement issued on Wednesday, June 29, he declared that his cabinet leaves a “prosperous, strong and secure country” and showed that parties from different ends of the political spectrum can work together.
Against this background, Lapid, a former talk show host and former leader of a center-left party, is expected to campaign to keep his position as the main alternative to Netanyahu. He is likely to get a boost soon when he welcomes President Joe Biden, who will arrive in Israel next week, as the nation’s leader.
But Netanyahu has already said he will fight to get his job back. After being ousted a little over a year ago, he vowed to return to power at the head of the right-wing Likud party. And now, with the hidden opportunity, the former prime minister takes the opportunity not to justify the supposed failures of the outgoing Administration.
“They promised changes, they talked about a cure, they did an experiment and the experiment failed (…) We are the only alternative: a strong, stable and responsible nationalist government,” Netanyahu said in a speech before the Parliament before the vote that ended up with the dissolution of the Legislature.
Although opinion polls currently show Likud as the strongest political party, there is no clear winner in the elections, leaving Israel to face months of political uncertainty as regional security and economic woes deepen. ones.
By Reuters, AP and EFE