Blue and White signs coalition deal with Yesh Atid

Benny Gantz to remain Defense Minister in new government under coalition deal signed with Yair Lapid.

Hezki Baruch ,

Gantz and Lapid
Gantz and Lapid
צילום: Flash90

The Yesh Atid party signed a coalition agreement with the Blue and White faction Wednesday morning, as opposition parties move closer towards establishing a unity government led by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.

The agreement signed Wednesday outlines the agenda for the new government, as well as the Blue and White party’s allotment of ministerial portfolios.

Under the deal, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz will retain the Defense Ministry portfolio.

In addition, Blue and White will receive the Sport and Culture Ministry portfolio, the Aliyah and Absorption Ministry portfolio, as well as the Science and Technology Ministry portfolio. The Science and Technology Ministry will be expanded to include the innovation department, currently a part of the Economy Ministry.

Following the signing of the deal, Gantz gave his backing to Yair Lapid to inform President Reuven Rivlin that he has the ability to form a new government.

However, coalition talks with other factions are still ongoing at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan, with the main issue of contention being the judicial appointments committee.

Both Yamina and the Labor party have demanded they receive the position reserved on the committee for a coalition MK.

On Wednesday, Yamina reportedly issued an ultimatum to Yesh Atid, saying that if Shaked does not receive the spot on the committee, there will be no unity government.

Yamina MK Matan Kahane told Galei Tzahal Wednesday morning that his party views the judicial committee position as "critical" to Yamina's agenda, and that his faction won't budge on the issue.

"The committee is critical for us. We understand that in the government that is going to be formed, not every side can pursue ideological purity. But we need to make sure that the courts won't go progressive. There are some things that are core issues for us."



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