Saturday, June 12, 2021

Lapid Finalizes Coalition Deals With All Parties In Incoming 'Change Government'

Lapid finalizes coalition deals with all parties in incoming ‘change government’

Coalition agreements between the eight parties that have joined forces to replace the outgoing coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were completed and signed Friday, paving the way for the 61-strong coalition to be sworn in on Sunday, ending Netanyahu’s 12-year term in office.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid inked coalition agreements with the Ra’am and Yisrael Beytenu parties on Friday morning. Hours later, Yesh Atid signed and released agreements with the Labor, Blue and White, New Hope and Yamina parties, with Yamina the last to formally announce a deal had been finalized.

The signing of the agreements came after Yesh Atid finalized a coalition deal with Meretz the day before. Meretz’s central committee ratified the agreement on Friday.

Under Israeli law, coalition agreements must be submitted to the Knesset and made public at least 24 hours before the swearing-in vote. However, with the vote scheduled for a Knesset session that begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday — and with Saturday, the Jewish day of rest, not counting — the parties in the emerging coalition had until Friday afternoon to finalize and submit the agreements.

A joint statement from Yesh Atid and Yamina said all the agreements had been submitted to the Knesset Secretariat.

“The agreements, along with the new government’s core principles, are open to the public and can be reviewed,” the statement said.

Under the terms of the new coalition, Yamina’s Naftali Bennett is to serve as prime minister until August 2023, when Lapid will take over from him until the end of the Knesset term in November 2025.

“The signing of these agreements brings to an end two and a half years of political crisis. We are faced with great challenges, and all the citizens of Israel are looking to us with hope,” Bennett was quoted saying in the statement. “The government will work for all the Israeli public — religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox, Arab — without exception, as one.”

Lapid vowed the government would prioritize what’s best for the country.

“That’s what this unity government has been formed to do. All the partners in this government are committed, first and foremost, to the people of Israel,” he said in the statement.


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