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Likud considers abandoning rotation deal with Gantz

Blue and White Party Leader Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on 23 October 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on 23 October 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is considering scrapping the rotation deal with Defence Minister and alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Friday.

Likud is deliberating offering presidency of Israel to Gantz in 2021 as an "honorable way out" of the rotation deal.

Officials of Likud asserted that it is unreasonable that a strong prime minister like Netanyahu give the post to a weaker one, such as Gantz, who has been losing his MKs in quick succession.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that recent polls found the Blue and White party dropping from its current 15, to 10-12 seats, at the Knesset, while the Likud party hikes to 40 seats or more.

READ: Israel's Netanyahu to Gantz: Annexation or fourth elections

"It is unreasonable for someone with so much political power to hand over the premiership to someone without any political power," Sima Kadmon wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth, citing what the Likud officials are contemplating.

Gantz, Likud expects, might decide to go for new elections, but Likud stressed this is not a preferable option for him as it is riskier than relinquishing the rotation deal.

Kadmon explains that if Gantz accepts presidency, the government coalition would support him to replace the current president Reuven Rivlin in mid-2021, and his partner Gabi Ashkenazi would replace him as a defence minister.

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