Likud, Blue and White work out the details of rotation deal

Blue and White concerned Netanyahu would fire ministers; parties disagree on when in the legal process Netanyahu would have to resign.

October 30, 2019 13:57
1 minute read.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet to discuss possible pol

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet to discuss possible political frameworks, October 27 2019. (photo credit: ELAD MALKA)

 Likud negotiators tried to assuage some of Blue and White’s concerns about a rotation for the premiership between the parties’ respective leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.

The negotiating teams are expected to meet on Thursday morning to further discuss options for forming a unity government.

One of Blue and White’s hesitations about a unity government has been that, as prime minister, Netanyahu would have the authority to fire ministers from their party without input from Gantz, sparking another election before Netanyahu goes on leave and Gantz becomes prime minister.

Likud offered to amend the law, KAN Bet reported, so that the prime minister will not be able to fire ministers without agreement from his deputy prime minister, which would be Gantz when Netanyahu is in office.

The parties still strongly disagree on when Netanyahu is supposed to take leave due to his legal troubles. These differences remain a major obstacle to forming a government.

Blue and White has consistently said they will not sit in a coalition with a prime minister who is under indictment. Since Attorney-General Avihai Mandelblit is expected to announce his decision as to whether indict Netanyahu and on what charges in the next few weeks, that would mean keep Netanyahu in office for a very short amount of time until Mandelblit formally submits the indictment.

Likud, however, seeks to keep Netanyahu in the Prime Minister’s Office as long as possible, even long after his trial has begun. The party’s negotiators have said Netanyahu should not have to leave office until testimony or the presentation of evidence in court has begun, but they have pushed for the deadline to be as late as a first conviction in court, before an appeal, a source in the negotiations confirmed.

Netanyahu would only legally have to leave office if he were convicted by the Supreme Court.

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