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June 4, 2021 1:37 pm

Knesset to Convene Monday to Announce New Goverment, Speaker Confirms

avatar by i24 News

Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett smiles as he speaks to Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid, during a special session of the Knesset whereby Israeli lawmakers elect a new president, at the plenum in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin said on Friday that he will announce next week that Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has succeeded in forming a government, paving the way for the coalition to be ratified.

The announcement underscored a growing sense of optimism among the so-called “change bloc,” headed by Lapid and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, that the ideologically motley coalition aiming to unseat Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is headed for success.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, has sought to splinter the bloc, which in addition to Yamina and Yesh Atid also includes the Labor party, the dovish Meretz party, and the centrist Blue and White party of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, as well as the Islamic conservative party Ra’am.

Yesh Atid were understood to be apprehensive regarding Levin, a senior Likud member known to be a close ally of Netanyahu, fearing he could delay the confirmation of the coalition after Lapid made it known that his first motion would be to replace him as speaker.

However, after the announcement sources close to both said they expected “no more defectors” from the “change bloc.”

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