Top Likud Officials Planning to Shunt Netanyahu Aside If He Doesn’t Win Majority
Story Code : 1017016
Top officials told the Times of ‘Israel’s’ Hebrew site, Zman Yisrael, that Netanyahu would be offered almost complete control of the party but would not be part of the government, which would allow Likud to form a center-right coalition government with parties that are currently refusing to sit with the former prime minister.
Despite Netanyahu’s vigorous election campaign, which has included meeting activists across the occupied territories, holding events and posting viral videos, most recent polls still predict a political stalemate in the November vote, leading Likud officials to prepare for a scenario in which Netanyahu’s bloc fails to reach the 61-seat majority it needs to form a government.
According to the emerging plan, which was being drafted behind Netanyahu’s back, he would remain head of the Likud party and be a senior member of the next Knesset but won’t be part of the ‘unity government’ that will be formed with Benny Gantz and Gideon Saar’s ‘National Unity party’, ultra-Orthodox parties, and other potential partners.
In this scenario, Netanyahu will pick a Likud member who will serve as prime minister in an agreed-upon rotation with Gantz.
Such a government would include 10-12 ministers appointed by Likud, who would later resign as part of the Norwegian Law and be replaced by other members on the Likud slate, which will increase the party’s influence in the Knesset and the government.
“This is the best solution,” an unnamed senior Likud member who supports the initiative told Zman ‘Israel.’
“Nobody wants a sixth election. Netanyahu doesn’t want to be seen as the reason for another round of elections. And Yair Lapid would remain premier until then. On the other hand, [Netanyahu] doesn’t want to go home. We will reach an understanding that allows Netanyahu to serve as head of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs Committee,” the official said.
“Netanyahu will also remain leader of the Likud party and will get to choose the ministers as if he’d won the elections. He will be able to continue with his ongoing trial. It’s none of our business.”