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Lapid meets Mansour Abbas in bid to reach coalition agreement

Yair Lapid during the final stage of Blue and White election campaign in Tel Aviv, Israel, 15 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]
Yair Lapid during the final stage of Blue and White election campaign in Tel Aviv, 15 September 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Sunday met with Head of the Ra'am Party Mansour Abbas to discuss forming a coalition government, Israeli media reported.

Abbas, according to Ynet News, presented his movement's demands to Lapid. The demands included scrapping Nation-State Law, having the freedom to vote on pro-LGBT bills, freezing Kaminitz Law, recognising unrecognised Arab towns in the Negev and fighting crime among the Arab community in Israel.

Both Abbas and Lapid issued brief statements following their meeting, stating that they had agreed to continue their communications.

Following Tuesday's election, Ra'am has emerged as a kingmaker as both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Lapid's Yesh Atid lacked enough seats in the Knesset to enable either party to form a coalition government.

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Right-wing pro-Netanyahu hardliners, including Head of the Fascist Religious Zionism Party Bezalel Smotrich, have rejected joining a coalition including Arab MKs or reliant on an Arab party.

This also came following a Likud meeting with Abbas, during which they discussed prospects of the latter's participation in a Likud-led government.

Ynet News reported that Abbas met with Lapid after realising that joining a right-wing government may not be a viable option, pointing out that his meeting with Lapid came after several postponements.

It is worth noting that the bloc consisting of Likud and its pro-right-wing parties have 59 seats out of 120. The left-wing, along with the anti-Netanyahu parties, have 57. Abbas, the current kingmaker, has five seats.

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IsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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