Polls Suggest Netanyahu May Be Unable to Form New Government if Indicted

Gesher, the new party of MK Orli Levi-Abekasis, may be the key party in forming a coalition

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Netanyahu speaking at the "CyberTech 2019" conference for the Cyber industry in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2019
Netanyahu speaking at the "CyberTech 2019" conference for the Cyber industry in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2019Credit: AFP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Benny Gantz’s suggestion Tuesday that he may not join a coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu if the latter is indicted means that the prime minister may be unable to form a government after the April 9 election if he is in fact charged with corruption.

Gesher, the new party of MK Orli Levi-Abekasis, may hold the key. Haaretz has repeatedly asked Levi-Abekasis whether she would be willing to serve in a Netanyahu government if he’s indicted, but so far, she has declined to respond.

>> Gantz's message: Vote for me – I'm meaner than Netanyahu, but clean

However, sources close to her said her intentions can be gleaned from her statements on the issue. They quoted her as saying, in a speech at the University of Haifa this month, “I think a prime minister who’s fighting to prove his innocence in court can’t fulfill his obligations to the public.”

Polls currently show Levi-Abekasis’ party getting around four Knesset seats. Based on Haaretz’s average of the polls, parties worth an additional 57 seats in the 120-member Knesset have definitely announced that they won’t sit in a Netanyahu-led government if he is indicted: Gantz’s Hosen L’Yisrael (15), Yesh Atid (11), Labor (9), Ta’al (6), Joint List (6), Meretz (6) and Kulanu (4).

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