President's Office Rejects Likud Petition: Bennett Can Be First PM in Rotation Agreement

Though Lapid has the mandate to form government, Bennett can be acting PM, legal advisor confirms

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Natftali Bennett and Yair Lapid in the Knesset in April.
Natftali Bennett and Yair Lapid in the Knesset in April.Credit: Marc Israel Sellem

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett can be the acting prime minister in the rotation agreement with Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid, the President's Residence's legal advisor confirmed on Tuesday, rejecting a petition by the Likud party.

In the petition, the Likud's attorney questioned whether Bennett can become prime minister since it was Lapid who received the mandate from the president to form a coalition. But the legal advisor, Udit Corinaldi-Sirkis, reminded the attorney that she had already informed him of the legality of the agreement when Likud considered a similar deal with Bennett.

"As you can probably recall… you asked me to confirm that in a rotation agreement, the member of Knesset charged with forming a government can be the alternate prime minister in the first phase of the rotation… I answered that this is my legal opinion and that I agree with you," Corinaldi-Sirkis wrote.

In the Likud petition, Attorney Michael Rabello demanded that the President's Residence make it clear to Lapid that according to Israel's laws, "the Knesset member tasked with forming a government cannot be the alternate prime minister but must lead the government in the first phase (of the rotation agreement)."

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