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Lapid, Bennett Aim to Form a Government Within a Week

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avatar by i24 News

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid gestures as he delivers a speech following the announcement of exit polls in Israel’s general election at his party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel March 24, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

i24 News – Israel’s Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett starting Thursday plan to participate in negotiations to form a unity government with the aim to have a coalition in place within a week.

On Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin handed the second mandate to Lapid after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to put together a coalition before his time expired. Lapid has 28 days to form a government with his mandate sunsetting on June 2.

Netanyahu opposes a Lapid-Bennett unity government, vowing that more members of Knesset would join Yamina MK Amichai Chikli, who on Wednesday announced his opposition to a unity government that includes the left.

Lapid has stated previously that as part of an agreement for a unity government that he was willing to allow Bennett to serve as prime minister first in a rotation deal.

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Both Lapid and Bennett have warned of the dangers to Israeli society of an unprecedented fifth round of elections should a government fail to be formed.

So far, a total of 56 MKs have recommended Lapid for prime minister, including Gideon Sa’ar’s right-of-center New Hope party.

Lapid and Bennett need the backing of a minimum of 61 MKs in the 120-member parliament in order to form a unity government.

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