Yesh Atid leader vows to be next prime minister

Lapid unsure what portfolio to accept in gov't, but is "sure" he will be future PM; UTJ calls on Netanyahu to be part of coalition.

Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Yair Lapid 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has not yet decided what portfolio to accept in the government Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to form next month.
But he already knows what job he wants in the government after that: prime minister.
In an interview with Channel 2’s Uvda (Fact) program broadcast Monday night, Lapid made a prediction.
Asked if he will win the next election, he said, “I believe so.”
Sources close to Netanyahu have said that following Yesh Atid’s success in garnering 19 mandates in last Tuesday’s election, Lapid could choose any portfolio he wants in Netanyahu’s cabinet.
Lapid is expected to choose the foreign or finance portfolio, but a source close to him said that heading the Interior or Construction and Housing ministries are also possibilities. Lapid himself has refused to discuss portfolios.
United Torah Judaism held its first faction meeting since the election on Monday and called upon Netanyahu to form a coalition with them rather than Lapid.
They said the 18 MKs of UTJ and Shas would be more loyal than the 19 of Yesh Atid.
UTJ said the party’s red line that would prevent them from joining the coalition would be limiting the number of yeshiva students who want to learn Torah.
“What is equalizing the burden?” UTJ head Ya’acov Litzman asked rhetorically.
“Are they going to throw us in jail?” Incoming UTJ MK Meir Porush warned that there are hundreds of thousands of haredim who are ready to “sanctify God’s name” by battling against the government’s edicts.
Shas co-chairman Arye Deri told Channel 10 Monday that he was preparing to take his party into the opposition.
Four secularist organizations sent a letter to Netanyahu on Monday urging him to form a coalition that would pursue a civil agenda and would not include haredim.