(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid ruled out on Wednesday the possibility that his faction will recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form the next government after the election.
Lapid had been careful not to say whom his faction would recommend to Rivlin. But after the Zionist Union began a negative campaign under the slogan “If you vote Yair, you get Bibi,” Lapid clarified his stance.
“The chances of us recommending Netanyahu are zero,” Lapid said. “Netanyahu has lost the State of Israel.”
Lapid did not say that he would endorse Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog to form a government, and Yesh Atid officials said it is possible that Lapid will form the next coalition.
Lapid’s No. 2, MK Shai Piron, told Channel 1 that Lapid would not recommend himself to form the government.
Channel 10 reported on Wednesday night that former president Shimon Peres was about to endorse the Zionist Union. Such an endorsement would deal a serious blow to Yesh Atid.
Peres’s spokeswoman Ayelet Frish, who also serves as a strategic adviser to Lapid, would not confirm or deny the report, only saying that if an announcement were made, the press would be informed.
Lapid called upon the parties running in the election to publicly rule out changing the law Yesh Atid passed limiting the number of ministers to 18.
“It’s either bloated governments that will restore the concept of ministers- without-portfolio, or hot meals for children,” he said.