After Netanyahu’s failure in forming a coalition government, the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin has invited Benny Gantz who led the opposing Blue and White Party to form a government coalition.
In his speech, Gantz expressed his desire to form a ‘liberal unity government’ and is open to the idea of accepting all sorts of people in his coalition. He even opened an invitation for Netanyahu and tried reaching out to the ultra-orthodox community of Israel, saying that what the people of Israel want right now is for the current ensuing problems in the Knesset, or Israel’s legislative branch, to be dealt with.
The President has also chimed in with this issue and offered a ‘power-sharing proposition’ in which legal changes are made to the position of interim prime minister. The position will be granted ‘full power’ in the scenario that the Prime Minister cannot continue his duties, rather than only due to death during his or her term.
The proposition itself is understandable due to the rather turbulent position of the Prime Minister and leader of the right-wing Likud party. Benjamin Netanyahu has been dealing with three corruption scandals. In addition, he has also faced accusations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges. His wife has also reportedly been indicted due to misuse of state funds.
It is due to these concerns, in addition to a fierce debate regarding a bill that regulates the conscription of Orthodox Jewish practitioners, that the bill to legally dissolve the Parliament was passed in December last year. Israel has gone through two elections since then, one in April and another one in September. Even so, the formation of a coalition government remains to be seen.
The difficulty in forming a coalition government is due to the important role that coalitions play in Israeli politics. This has led to fringe parties playing an integral part of the political equation. One such party is Yisrael Beiteinu, with its leader Avigdor Lieberman most likely to have a final say in choosing the next Prime Minister.
With the ongoing difficulties in forming a coalition government, things are looking rather uncertain. This also goes for even the strongest Israeli politicians such as Netanyahu. What’s certain is that future plans on forming a coalition government can not go forward without great concessions.