Bennett, Lapid in late-night talks to form anti-Netanyahu coalition


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Bennett, Lapid in late-night talks to form anti-Netanyahu coalition
Unresolved disputes take coalition-building down to the wire; Rivlin's legal adviser rejects challenge to Bennett becoming prime minister.
JUNE 2, 2021

Efforts to form a government that would replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu carried over until the final day, after several small disputes between the parties remained unresolved on Tuesday night. Representatives of the eight parties set to join the coalition and the heads of six of the parties came to Ramat Gan’s Kfar Hamaccabiah Hotel on Tuesday in an effort to work out their remaining differences before the end of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s mandate to form a government ends on Wednesday night.

Ra’am (United Arab List) head Mansour Abbas arrived at the talks and told reporters his party would formally be part of the coalition, though it would not take any portfolios. Hefty sums will go to infrastructure and fighting crime in Arab communities as part of the coalition agreement. Lapid must tell President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin by Wednesday night at 11:59 that he can form a government; otherwise, the mandate goes to the Knesset, where any MK has the option to build a coalition with the support of 61 MKs. Once Lapid makes his declaration to Rivlin and Levin, there will be seven days to hold a vote of confidence in the Knesset and then swear in the new government.