Benjamin Netanyahu managed to form a new government in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu (REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun/File Photo) (RONEN ZVULUN/)

The elected Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu informed President Isaac Herzog that he managed to form a governmentannounced the country’s presidency on Wednesday.

“I inform you that I have been able to form a government,” said a statement from Netanyahu’s office, released just half an hour before the deadline to reach a pact with other formations expired. The Israeli presidency confirmed to the news agency AFP that Netanyahu had “called” Herzog to inform him of the news.

He would assume power for the third time since the 1990s, with an administration expected to be the most conservative in Israel’s history.

Following his election victory on November 1, Netanyahu was given a mandate to form a government. backed by two Orthodox Jewish parties and a far-right bloc.

The future government would replace the ideologically disparate coalition headed by the centrist prime minister Yair Lapid.

Netanyahu, who is fighting corruption charges in the courts, complied a record 12 years as prime minister until March 2021after an earlier period of three years in the late 1990s.

Some political analysts had predicted that Netanyahu, 73, could announce a new government quickly, given the ideological common ground between his right-wing Likud party and its partners.

But the talks dragged on and Netanyahu was forced to juggle the demands of senior cabinet officials.

President isaac herzog he initially gave Netanyahu until December 11 to agree on a government. Before that deadline, Netanyahu asked for two more weeks, the maximum allowed.

Parliamentarian Aryeh Deri (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Parliamentarian Aryeh Deri (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File) (ABIR SULTAN/)

A stable right-wing government would end an unprecedented period of political stalemate that forced a celebration five elections in less than four years.

The leader of the ultra-Orthodox party Shas, Aryeh Deri, he is a key player in the new parliament that has been promised the interior and health portfolios.

But according to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, Deri cannot serve in the cabinet due to previous convictions for tax crimes.

Parliament is expected to pass legislation to remove that obstacle, but has yet to do so despite Netanyahu and his allies controlling 64 of his 120 seats.

Israel’s attorney general has issued a harsh condemnation of the future government’s legislative agenda.

He said that some of the measures threatened to turn Israel into a a “democracy in name, but not in essence”.

“The politicization of law enforcement will deal a heavy blow to the most fundamental principles of the rule of law, namely equality, non-arbitrariness and impartiality,” Baharav-Miara said.

Netanyahu is also juggling cabinet demands from within his own Likud, by far the largest party in parliament. the israeli newspaper Maariv he said it was still a big challenge ahead as the deadline approached.

“There are more demands for important portfolios than there are jobs available,” the newspaper said in a commentary on Wednesday.

(With information from AFP)

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