Lapid, Bennett Aim to Wrap Up Coalition Talks, Announce New Government by Wednesday Morning

Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid and Yamina's Naftalli Bennett hope to make a formal announcement hours before a Wednesday night deadline, to ensure speedy Knesset vote

Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov
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Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid in the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, in 2013.
Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid in the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, in 2013.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Michael Hauser Tov
Michael Hauser Tov

As negotiations to secure a coalition continue, lawmakers and party members say they expect Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett to announce a government before a Wednesday deadline expires and even as early as Wednesday morning.

Earlier on Tuesday, Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, Yamina's Naftali Bennett, Yisrael Beiteinu's Avigdor Lieberman, and United Arab List's Mansour Abbas met at Kfar Maccabiah in central Israel in an effort to finalize coalition deals.

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Apart from the parties mentioned above, that future government would also include right-wing New Hope, centrist Kahol Lavan, and left-wing Labor and Meretz.

According to Israeli law, once a lawmaker tasked by the president with forming a government – Yesh Atid leader Lapid in this case – announces he has succeeded in doing so, the Knesset has a week to schedule a confidence vote by the full Knesset, which requires a simple majority.

Usually, this type of vote is scheduled as early as possible, but it might not happen now. The current Knesset speaker, Yariv Leviv of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, is expected to pressure Yamina chairman Bennett and wait as much as possible before scheduling the vote, in the hopes of potentially obstructing the formation of the government.

Lapid and Bennett would like to announce a government before a Knesset meeting set for Wednesday at 11 A.M., which would mean the confidence vote will be slated for next Wednesday at the latest.

In case talks are delayed and no final agreements are reached by that time, the Knesset speaker could formally inform the parliament of the new government on Monday, effectively postponing the vote by another week.