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Likud officials warn failure of coalition talks could lead to new elections

May 21, 2019 at 11:19 am

An election billboard showcasing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during election season on 3 April 2019

Likud officials have warned that the failure to find a breakthrough in coalition negotiations could lead to fresh elections, reported Ynet.

According to the news site, the unnamed officials are frustrated at what they believe are “unreasonable demands” from Likud’s natural coalition partners.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has until 28 May to form the next government, having already received the permitted, one-off 14-day extension from President Reuven Rivlin.

Weeks after national elections were held on 9 April, “Netanyahu is yet to sign a deal with any party, and has declared that negotiations are stuck”, Ynet noted. He has declared that smaller parties “need to climb down from the tree” and are making exaggerated demands.

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According to Ynet, “not signing a single deal with a coalition partner this late into negotiations is unprecedented in Israeli political history.”

On Monday, Rabbi Haim Drukman of Jewish Home, said that “without the education and justice ministries [for the Union of Right-Wing Parties], the prime minister will not have a government”.

In a bid to ease coalition talks, “the new government will apparently have 26 ministers and eight deputy ministers, according to political sources,” Ynet added, an increase from the 21 ministers in the previous coalition’s cabinet. This, news sites have said, is an effort to appease his coalition partners.

“This will mean an increase in the cost the government of NIS 100 million [$111.5 million] per annum and half a billion shekels per Knesset term.”