Jerusalem: After weeks of political wrangling the Israeli parliament is set to vote June 12 on whether to install a “change” coalition and end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12 consecutive years in power.
Announcing the date for the confidence vote, speaker Yariv Levin, a Netanyahu ally, said “a special session of parliament” would debate and vote on the fragile eight-party alliance, after the country’s fourth inconclusive election two years back in March.
Divisive incumbent Netanyahu has dominated Israeli politics for more than a decade, pushing it firmly to the right. If the parliamentary vote hands a majority to the coalition, which is united only by hostility to Netanyahu’s rule, it would spell the end of an era.
Since the nascent coalition was announced last week, Netanyahu has lived up to his reputation as a ruthless political operator, piling pressure on right-wingers within its ranks to reject this “dangerous left-wing government”.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc includes three right-wing, two centrist, and two left-wing parties, along with an Arab Islamic conservative party.
If the new government is confirmed, Netanyahu’s right-wing opponent Naftali Bennett would serve as premier for two years, after which the “change” coalition’s centrist architect, Yair Lapid, would take over.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, has been in office since 2009, and his tenure has been clouded by an ongoing corruption trial, in which he has denied any wrongdoing. The prospective new government caps political jockeying since the election – Israel’s fourth in two years.