Extra

Bennett said to consider timeout from politics and not run for the next election

Written by Javed Iqbal

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has pushed the idea of ​​taking a break from political life and not running for the next election, according to Israeli television reports on Wednesday.

Can public broadcaster reported that Bennett raised the idea at a meeting with other members of his Yamina party, but said he has not made a final decision.

The Prime Minister has not publicly commented on the matter.

Yamina MKs reportedly urged Bennett to make a decision quickly, linking their fate to his. According to the Kan report, they are also likely to step down if Bennett does.

Knesset approved a preliminary consideration of a bill Wednesday to dissolve itself. Once it has passed the necessary legislative barriers, Israel will go to its fifth election since 2019, and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will become interim prime minister until a new government is formed. Bennett would then replace Lapid as deputy prime minister.

Polls were broadcast on television networks Tuesday showed that Bennett’s Yamina would only win four to five seats, compared to the seven the party won in the 2021 election, which could play a role in encouraging the outgoing premiere to leave the reins to its party.

Yamina MK Nir Orbach, chair of a meeting of the Knesset House Committee, 21. 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)

Meanwhile, Channel 13 reported on Wednesday that before Bennett decided the prospect of rescuing the coalition was over, his aide offered to appoint Yamina rebel Nir Orbach to a powerful position of his choice in exchange for resigning from the Knesset.

Orbach was reportedly offered the chairmanship of Mifal HaPais, Israel’s national lottery, or to serve as director general of Keren Hayesod, the country’s official fundraising body.

Orbach apparently rejected the proposal, citing his personal values.

The Yamina legislature recently dropped its support for the government, citing the rejection of coalition MKs who refused to support decisive legislation applying Israeli law to Israeli citizens living in the West Bank; the decision left the government with a parliamentary minority.

Bennett was first elected to the Knesset after leading the Jewish Home Party to win 12 seats in the 2013 election. He continued to serve as a minister in Netanyahu-led governments.

He failed to cross the election threshold with his New Conservative party in the April 2019 election, but was given a second chance when a new round of elections was held in September of that year, where he regained a Knesset seat as part of the Yamina faction. .

After the 2021 election, Bennett broke away from his old ally Netanyahu and formed a historic, diverse unity government with himself as prime minister. The coalition collapsed under the weight of defectors in recent months, many from his own party, due to ideological divisions with coalition partners.

New elections are likely to take place in late October or early November, following the Jewish holidays.

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About the author

Javed Iqbal

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