Israeli opposition parties have succeeded in cobbling together a coalition government to end the 12 year reign of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One of the coalition partners, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid informed President Reuven Rivlin, of the coalition breakthrough, just 35 minutes before the expiration of the deadline given by Rivlin.
“I am honored to inform you that I have succeeded in forming a government,” Lapid told Rivlin according to a Yesh Atid statement.
“The government will be an alternate government in accordance with Clause 13(a) of the Basic Law: The Government, and MK Naftali Bennett will serve as prime minister first.”
“I congratulate you and the heads of the parties on your agreement to form a government. We expect the Knesset will convene as soon as possible to ratify the government, as required,” Rivlin told Lapid in the phone call between them on Wednesday night, according to the President’s Office.
The joint government will see Atid and Yamina chief Naftali Bennett rotate the post of prime minister.
Bennett will serve as prime minister until September 2023, when Lapid will take over from him until the end of the Knesset term in November 2025.
The agreement came together after Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas threw his support behind the would-be government late on Wednesday night, setting up his Islamist party to be the first majority Arab party to be part of a ruling coalition in Israel’s history.
Despite Lapid’s declaration, it remained unclear that the prospective “change government” will make it past the finish line.
It is set to include 61 of the 120 MKs — the narrowest possible majority.
*Reported by Times of Israel