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June 3, 2021 11:21 am
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Lapid’s Move to Replace Knesset Speaker Tests Fragile New Coalition

avatar by i24 News

Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid during a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Oct. 28, 2019. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.

i24 News – Hours after Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid announced that he had managed to secure a coalition deal, members of his “Change Bloc” circulated a petition on Thursday to replace Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin.

Levin, a senior Likud member, is known to be a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose record 12-year tenure at the helm of the Jewish state appears to be coming to an end.

Lapid intends to replace Levin with Yesh Atid lawmaker Mickey Levy.

However, there was at least one parliamentarian from Bennett’s hard-right Yamina party who said he won’t back the motion, forcing the ideologically diverse coalition to rely on support from the opposition camp, which includes the Joint List, an anti-Zionist Arab faction, understood to support the motion.

The vote is due on Monday.

The Likud issued a swift response, charging that Bennett and Lapid found themselves reliant on the Joint List after less than 24 hours of announcing their coalition.

The statement also called on more Yamina parliamentarians to speak out against cooperation with the Joint List.

Bennett and Lapid’s slender majority of 61 lawmakers out of the Knesset’s total of 120 already includes the Arab Israeli Islamic conservative party Raam.

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