06/03/2021, 09.53
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New government (maybe) heralds end of the Netanyahu era

As Lapid's exploratory mandate expires, Bennett and Mansour Abbas reach an agreement for the new executive. The coalition will consist of eight different parties, including nationalists and Arabs. It will have to pass in Parliament, but the numbers are tight. From July Israel will also have a new president, former Labor leader Isaac Herzog.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The era of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an end - perhaps forever -  after a political and institutional domination that has lasted almost 12 years.

The new executive was born last night just hours before the deadline of the Yair Lapid exploratory mandate. It will be formed by diverse parties ranging from the right-wing to centrists, passing through the Arab-Israelis of Raam, an absolute first in the government.

In the afternoon the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, had elected former labor leader Isaac Herzog with 87 votes out of 120 as the next president, beating Miriam Peretz who got 26 votes. The 60-year-old son of Chaim Herzog, former president from 1983 to 1993, will take over from Reuven Rivlin whose term will expire on 9 July.

In the first phase, the next executive will be led by right-wing member Naftali Bennett, head of the Yamina party, which is supported by a coalition made up of eight different formations. The agreement provides for a rotation regime which, in the second part of the legislature starting from 27 August 2023, will entrust the role of prime minister to the centrist exponent Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party.

However, the coalition has yet to pass the formal process of moving to Parliament, where it must obtain a majority of at least 61 deputies to be sworn in to government. If it does not reach the necessary votes (to date the combined power of the parties is at the minimum threshold in the Knesset), the most probable scenario appears to be that of the fifth electoral round in two years.

In a note, Lapid announced that he had informed President Rivlin of the agreement: "I pledge that this government will work in the service of all Israeli citizens, those who voted for it and those who did not. It will respect its opponents and do everything in its power to unite and connect all parts of Israeli society."

To seal the agreement, an image (in the photo) that has circulated a lot in these hours on the net and on social media, showing Lapid, Bennet and the leader of the Arab-Israeli party Mansour Abbas signing the government pact, an event deemed unthinkable until a few weeks ago.

Abbas told reporters: "The decision was hard and there were several disputes but it was important to reach agreements." He said that there were "many things in this agreement for the benefit of Arab society".

The ruling coalition of broad understandings (and precarious balances) put together by Lapid includes eight parties: the centrists of Yesh Atid and Benny Gantz's Blue and White, with the Labor and radical left of Meretz, together with the nationalist right-wing parties. Yisrael Beiteinu, New Hope and Yamina. For the first time, an Arab-Israeli party - Raam's Islamist conservatives - officially participates in the formation of an executive of the Jewish state.

The finalization of the government agreement took place yesterday after a long day of negotiations that took place in a hotel near Tel Aviv, during which various issues were discussed: from the legalization of cannabis to fines for illegal construction, to the rotation of top posts in the judicial system.

According to the Israeli media, several issues remain unresolved and not all the elements have been defined, which is why there remain (not a few) doubts about the actual possibility of the coalition to obtain the vote of confidence in Parliament which for President Rivlin must take place as soon as possible.

Outgoing leader Netanyahu had called the new government "the fraud of the century", stressing that it would endanger the state and people of Israel.

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