'We don't change Prime Ministers via shady deals'

Yesh Atid MK says his party won't participate in Zionist Union's plan to replace Netanyahu without holding elections.

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Meir Cohen
Meir Cohen
Hadas Porush, Flash 90

Opposition MK Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) said on Sunday morning that his party would not cooperate with the Zionist Union's plan to replace Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu via "constructive mistrust" without holding elections.

"The basis of democracy is that we do not change governments via shady deals made in closed rooms," Cohen told Galei Zahal Radio. "Israel's citizens deserve leadership. They made their choice in the last elections. This is the government the people chose.

"If you want to change the government, you need to hold new elections.

"The Israeli public does not want to make politicians' lives easier. We will not allow changes to the government to take place in closed rooms.

"The Prime Minister is forcing an entire country to hold new elections, because of a disagreement regarding communications. Netanyahu seems to think that Israeli public will stand behind him, no matter what.

"Despite the fact that we are doing so well in the polls, we do not believe elections should be held just because of a petty disagreement regarding the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation."

Cohen also said Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid would refuse to become Prime Minister even if the position were offered to him - unless he won the right to claim the position by legitimate elections.

On Saturday evening, Opposition Leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) spoke with Kahlon on the phone about the possibility of replacing Netanyahu without elections.

Herzog tweeted, "The Zionist Union, led by myself, will work together with moderate Zionist groups in a social and responsible manner to replace the Prime Minister. We will hold talks to receive wide support and work to create constructive mistrust in the current Knesset."

Earlier on Saturday night, Netanyahu announced he had changed his mind regarding the closure of the Israel Broadcast Authority and the creation of the new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation. He also said if Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) did not agree to compromise, new elections would be held.