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Likud considers forming government without Netanyahu

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]
Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

Likud officials are weighing up casting former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu aside and forming a coalition government without him if Likud fails to win a majority in the upcoming elections.

According to Zman Yisrael, if Likud fails to form a coalition led by Netanyahu, it will form a government without him, alongside right-wing parties that refuse to sit with Netanyahu in the same government.

Then, Netanyahu would be offered complete control over Likud and given a senior Knesset position while the government is led by Benny Gantz and an alternate prime minister from Likud named by Netanyahu.

According to the Israeli newspaper, this government would include between ten to 12 Likud ministers who will resign from the Knesset and be replaced by other Likud MKs. This will give much power to Likud over the Knesset and the government.

"This is the best solution," Zman Yisrael reported a senior Likud MK who supports the initiative explaining: "Nobody wants a sixth election. Netanyahu doesn't want to be seen as the reason for another round of elections."

According to the Likud official: "Likud and Yair Lapid would remain premier until then, and Netanyahu will not go home. We will reach an understanding that allows Netanyahu to serve as head of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee."

The official added: "Netanyahu will also remain leader of the Likud party and will get to choose the ministers as if he'd won the elections. He will be able to continue with his ongoing trial. It's none of our business."

The Times of Israel expects that Netanyahu will reject this plan as he stated two weeks ago: "I am staying to lead it [right-wing bloc] until we return a right-wing government to the State of Israel and as long as the Israeli citizens believe in it."

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