Israeli opposition parties to form coalition gov't aimed at ousting Netanyahu

Leaders of Yamina and Yesh Atid parties to split job of premier if new government receives vote of confidence.

Israeli opposition parties to form coalition gov't aimed at ousting Netanyahu

Opponents of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached an agreement Wednesday to form a coalition government, paving the way for his exit after 12 years in power. 

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid reached an unprecedented deal with Mansour Abbas, who heads the United Arab List party, to form a coalition before a midnight deadline.

A total of eight parties will be part of the coalition government under the leadership of Naftali Bennett, who heads the far-right Yamina party, and Lapid.

Lapid, who informed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he had secured enough seats in the Knesset, or parliament, to form a government, had been tasked with forming a coalition after Netanyahu failed to do so.

President Rivlin congratulated Lapid and the coalition parties in a Twitter post.

"Congratulations to you @yairlapid and to the heads of the parties on your agreement to form a government. We expect the Knesset will convene as soon as possible to ratify the government, as required."

If the coalition government is formed, Bennett will assume the role of premier for two years as part of an agreement and Lapid will assume the role two years later.

Should the coalition government receive a vote of confidence in parliament within the specified period, Netanyahu will be removed from the premiership, which he assumed in March 2009.

In Israel, 61 lawmakers are required to form a coalition government, while the upcoming coalition already contains 62.

However, Nir Orbach, a lawmaker of Yamina, had announced that he would not back such a deal.

If another lawmaker adopts the same attitude, the coalition will fall short of the number of lawmakers needed for its establishment.


Hüseyin Demir