Netanyahu may resort to a minority government if he lacks a majority in the final results
A day after Israel’s election, the numbers logged on March 24 contradicted media attempts to present Yair Lapid at the head the anti-Netanyahu grouping of factions in the lead position for forming a government coalition. According to DEBKAfile’s political analysts, the still partial count of 52 versus 56 does not take into account, key factors:
(a) that the count is far from final; (b) that Netanyahu’s 56 seats represent a firm lineup of committed partners, his Likud and three religious parties, plus Yamina’s 9 for a 61-seat majority. Yamina’s leader Naftali Bennett has pledged not to join a Lapid government that includes far-right Meretz and the Joint Arab List; (c) that the opposition camp in contrast consists of a mix of widely divergent factions from right to far left – Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu, Labor, Kachol Lavan, New Hope and Meretz. He is also counting in the 7-member Joint Arab List.
The final count of ballots may provide one of the opposing camps in this tight race enough strength to block its rival’s attempts to lead a new government. DEBKAfile predicts that at the end of the road, Netanyahu will strive to form a government with the resources to hand. If he finds he is short of a majority, he is likely to try for a minority government with the paramount aim of avoiding a ludicrous fifth election.