Netanyahu out as new Israeli government approved

Benjamin Netanyahu has lost his 12-year hold on power in Israel after the country’s parliament voted in a new coalition government.

A new “government of change” will be led by right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett of the Yamina party.

He will lead an unprecedented coalition of parties which was approved with a razor-thin majority vote of 60-59.

Mr Bennett will be prime minister until September 2023 as part of a power-sharing deal.

He will hand power over to Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid, for a further two years.

Mr Netanyahu – Israel’s longest-serving leader who has dominated its political landscape for years – will remain head of the right-wing Likud party and become leader of the opposition.

During the debate in the Knesset (parliament), a defiant Mr Netanyahu promised: “We’ll be back.”

After the vote, Mr Netanyahu walked over to Mr Bennett and shook his hand.

US President Joe Biden has already sent his congratulations to Mr Bennett, saying he looks forward to working with him.

Why has this happened?

Mr Netanyahu has served a record-breaking five terms, first from 1996 to 1999, then continuously from 2009 to 2021.

He called an election in April 2019 but failed to win enough support to form a new coalition government. Two more elections followed, each of which ended inconclusively.

The third election resulted in a government of national unity where Mr Netanyahu agreed to share power with the then-opposition leader Benny Gantz. But the arrangement collapsed in December, triggering a fourth election.

Although Likud emerged as the largest party in the 120-seat Knesset, Mr Netanyahu was again unable to form a governing coalition and the task was handed to Mr Lapid, whose centrist Yesh Atid party had emerged as the second largest.

Opposition to Mr Netanyahu staying in power had grown, not just among the left and centre but also among right-wing parties that are ordinarily ideologically aligned to Likud, including Yamina.

Although Yamina came joint fifth in the election with only seven seats, its support was critical if any potential coalition government was to have a majority in parliament. After weeks of negotiations, Mr Lapid brought Yamina on board as part of a constellation of parties whose only common goal was to remove Mr Netanyahu from office.

The agreement involving eight factions with the 61 seats required for a majority was signed on 2 June, just half an hour before a deadline was due to expire, effectively sealing Mr Netanyahu’s fate.

 

  

Latest posts

Govt urged to introduce supplementary budget to fight Covid-19

Muraya Kamunde

Police investigating murder of Chinese national in Athi River

Muraya Kamunde

Former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika dies aged 84

Muraya Kamunde

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More