Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is working behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for the formation of a new political party, officials in the Likud party claim in a new report.
According to a report by Yediot Aharonot Friday morning, Likud officials said that Netanyahu is concerned about the defections of right-leaning voters unhappy with the Likud who voted for either Yisrael Beytenu or the Blue and White party in the past three elections.
With the government’s approval ratings falling amid widespread dissatisfaction over the handling of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu is looking to form a new right-of-center party to provide right-wing voters frustrated with the Likud an alternate party, keeping those voters within the right-wing bloc.
The sources cited in the report also said Netanyahu is concerned that he may not be able to rely on the entire right-wing bloc, and is looking to create a stable ally.
“Netanyahu can’t rely on the entire right-wing bloc, and he isn’t sure that the bloc can get 61 MKs,” a Likud official said.
“Over the last three elections he wasn’t able to create a majority bloc to form a right-wing government. That’s why he’s working behind the scenes now to form a party which will get a few seats and ensure the bloc gets to 61 seats.”
That new party, the sources said, would be able to “absorb” disappointed right-leaning voters frustrated with the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Haim Bibas, the mayor of Modi’in and a Netanyahu ally, was named as the likely leader of the new party.