Netanyahu Plans Political Trick to Torpedo Lapid Chance of Forming Gov’t
Story Code : 930589
According to sources, Netanyahu plans to get the entire right-wing bloc to recommend to Rivlin that an "out of field" candidate, apparently Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, is tasked with forming a coalition.
This would leave Lapid with only 45 recommendations as opposed to Steinitz's presumed 52, making it hard for the president to task the centrist Yesh Atid leader with the mandate.
If the mandate is then passed to the Knesset, the Arrangements Committee, which makes recommendations as to who should chair the government committees, will remain in the hands of the Likud.
Netanyahu apparently believes the advantage of such a scenario is that Yamina Chairman Naftali Bennett and even New Hope chief Gideon Saar will be put under great pressure to recommend Netanyahu's candidate.
Saar has made it clear in the past that if Netanyahu compromises on some of the issues, he may support a Likud-led government.
It is unclear, however, how Rivlin will react in such a scenario given the move would be a clear political trick.