Bennett may quit gov’t after election, ending veto power

This would leave the right-wing bloc in the government without a right of veto until the next government is formed.

 Naftali Bennett gives a speech during a ceremony for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah in November 2021. (photo credit: GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Naftali Bennett gives a speech during a ceremony for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah in November 2021.
(photo credit: GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is considering resigning from the government after the November election, Channel 12 reported on Friday.

This would leave the right-wing bloc in the government without a right of veto until the next government is formed, the report said, referring to the law regarding rotation governments composed of two flanks, which grants each side veto power.

Bennett’s former No. 2, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, demanded in response that Bennett pass his veto powers on to her, in order not to leave the power solely “in the hands of the Left,” she said in a statement.

Shaked said that she “views as utmost important maintaining the veto [power], the equal-balance structure [of the government] and maintaining the Right’s strength, and expects [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid to respect agreements.”

The next elections

The election will bring in a fresh batch of many new MKs, with Bennett not one of those returning since he announced in June that he will not run.

 Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid with Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 11, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid with Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 11, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The law states that a prime minister must be a member of Knesset but remains mum on the question of the alternate prime minister, and therefore Bennett requested a legal opinion from Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara as to whether he could continue on in his role.

The legality of Shaked's request is also not clear.

There were contradictory reports regarding the opinion he received, which has not yet been made public.

Even if he is allowed to stay in the government, Bennett may still choose to resign, Channel 12 reported.

His office said in response that “Bennett will continue as alternate prime minister until the election and then will decide about his next steps.”

"Bennett will continue as Alternate Prime Minister until the election and then will decide about his next steps."

Naftali Bennett's office