Edelstein: Netanyahu agreed to declare incapacity if indicted

Knesset Speaker hopes today's swearing-in won't be the start of the shortest Knesset ever: 'What interests Likud now is to form government.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Flash 90

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein admits that the complicated political situation may affect the ambiance of the Knesset's inauguration, to be held this afternoon.

In a Reshet Bet interview this morning Edelstein said, "The feeling is celebratory but not like in previous Knessets. Hopefully this Knesset won't become the shortest in our history."

However, Edelstein made it clear that he was not discouraged by the possibility that a new government would soon be formed: "With a little responsibility and a little goodwill a broad government could be established."

Edelstein rejected claims that the Prime Minister deliberately wants to lead Israel into another election campaign: "What interests the Likud right now is to form a government, and not to deteriorate into elections for a third time."

Regarding his part in contacts for forming the new government, the Knesset Speaker said, "I don't form governments, but do everything possible so that a government may be formed."

Later in the interview, the Knesset Speaker clarified that Netanyahu is not the obstacle to establishing a unity government. "Netanyahu has agreed to declare incapacity if there's an indictment - for the sake of forming a government. That's an intricate leadership move."

The term "incapacity" describes a situation where a government official cannot fulfill his role for a variety of reasons. The inability to fill the position can be temporary, if the officeholder is scheduled to return to the job; or permanent, if it is clear that the functionary will not return to the position.

At 16:00 this afternoon, the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in at a festive ceremony to be held in the Knesset, attended by the President, the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, and a long list of dignitaries.

The 22nd Knesset will be sworn in amidst a political stalemate and fears that within weeks it could be dispersed if neither of the two candidates to form a government, Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, succeed in accomplishing the task.