Israel’s justice minister urged President Isaac Herzog not to grant an extension of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate to form a new government, calling on Herzog to leave the original deadline in place.
Netanyahu’s 28-day mandate to form a new government expires next Sunday, and he is expected to request a two-week extension if talks with the haredi Shas party are not completed by the end of this week.
Justice Minster Gideon Sa’ar, a former member of the Likud and a long-time rival of Netanyahu, tweeted Tuesday morning that Herzog should reject any request for an extension.
Sa’ar noted that the Likud has already secured support from all five of its coalition allies – Shas, United Torah Judaism, Otzma Yehudit, Religious Zionist Party, and Noam – to vote in a new Knesset Speaker.
The minister accused Netanyahu of plotting to pass “personal and problematic laws” in the Knesset before the government is established, while requesting an extension for his mandate to form a coalition.
"The process of obtaining the signatures for replacing the Knesset Speaker shows that the government has already been formed,” tweeted Sa’ar.
“Netanyahu's request to the President for additional days is deceitful - his aim is to use those days to pass personal and problematic laws demanded by his partners, before the government is formed. This is not the reason why the President has the authority to grant an extension of time. The President should turn down Netanyahu's request."