Likud to haredi lawmakers: We're recommending Bennett as PM

In closed talks with haredi parties, Knesset Speaker says Likud is planning on urging President Rivlin to give mandate to Yamina chairman.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

נפתלי בנט
נפתלי בנט
צילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90     

The Likud is planning on recommending Yamina chief Naftali Bennett as prime minister once Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate to form a new government expires, a senior Likud official said, according to a report by Kan Tuesday.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) told haredi lawmakers in closed talks that the Likud is planning on recommending that Bennett receive a mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to form a new government.

The report comes just hours before Netanyahu’s 28-day mandate is set to expire Tuesday at midnight.

Officials in Yamina responded to the report by saying that despite Netanyahu’s recent statements supporting Bennett forming a government with the Likud and serving as prime minister first in a rotational arrangement, Netanyahu is actually pushing for new elections.

Earlier on Tuesday, an official in the president’s office said that Rivlin will likely task Opposition Leader Yair Lapid with forming a new government once Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate expires, Israel Hayom reported.

On Monday, Netanyahu wrote on Facebook that he has agreed to Bennett’s demand that the Yamina chairman serve as prime minister for the first year if a government is formed with the Likud.

“Bennett raised during negotiations his demand to serve as prime minister first, for one year, under a rotational arrangement. But at the same time, he conducted negotiations with Lapid with a similar demand – an even greater one.”

“I told Naftali Bennett that I am prepared to agree to his request for a rotational arrangement in which he serves as prime minister first for one year. Yamina’s members will be incorporated into the government and the Knesset with important positions. And if we fail to form a government, which I don’t think will happen, then we’ll run together on a joint list for the Knesset, which each party maintaining its identity and relative strength.”