Yuli Edelstein was expected to be chosen as Speaker of the 19th Knesset
Thursday, replacing Reuven Rivlin, who was previously speaker of the
16th and 18th Knessets.
Rivlin dropped out of the race to become
Knesset Speaker after reports surfaced that Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu did not support Rivlin for the position. Rivlin's spokesman
denied reports of a conversation in which the prime minister told Rivlin
that he would not back him. In fact, the spokesman said, Netanyahu’s
chief of staff Gil Shefer promised him on Thursday that the prime
minister wants Rivlin to be speaker.
Edelstein has been talking
to Likud Beytenu faction members to convince them to vote for him, and
hopes to meet with all 31 of the joint list’s MKs before the coalition
is formed and they vote for the next Speaker.
“He doesn’t want to
disrespect Rivlin or start a big media campaign; it’s just a series of
quiet meetings,” a source close to Edelstein explained.