Deputy Minister Says Elections Are 'Inevitable'

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis criticizes Finance Minister Yair Lapid for saying the government is "stuck", says Lapid is welcome to resign.

Hezki Baruch ,

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis
Flash 90

Early elections are “inevitable”, Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) said on Saturday night.

Akunis’s comments came after Yesh Atid chairman, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, declared that the government was “stuck”, as he put it.

"Lapid is arrogant and a hypocrite,” charged Akunis, adding, “If Lapid does not want to serve in the government, he can resign. With Yesh Atid, there is no future for this government and none of Lapid’s attacks will cover up his failures.”

“It is clear that in the current political reality, in which senior ministers in the coalition are attacking the government from the inside, early elections are inevitable,” continued Akunis.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the parties in his coalition have been at odds over several issues, the latest being the controversial Jewish State Law. Previous spats revolved around the 2015 state budget and Lapid’s 0% VAT law, which Netanyahu has tried to shelve.

The never-ending disagreements have led to speculations that Netanyahu might dissolve the Knesset or form some sort of alliance with the hareidi parties.

Recently it was reported that Lapid himself was contemplating an alliance with the hareidim and had looked into the possibility of quitting the coalition and forming an alternate government.

On Saturday night, Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri confirmed that Netanyahu’s coalition partners tried to form an alternative government, but that he, Deri, told them that another government will be formed only after the elections.

"Netanyahu spoke with me and filled me in on the situation. I told him I will not join a unity government and will demand elections,” Deri told Channel 2 News. He refused to promise that after the elections, Shas will recommend Netanyahu or any other leader from the right to be Prime Minister, and stressed that all options are open.