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Israeli parliament to vote Sunday on new governing coalition that would oust Netanyahu

Israeli parliament to vote Sunday on new governing coalition that would oust Netanyahu
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Israel’s parliament will vote Sunday on whether to approve a new governing coalition that would end the 12-year tenure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE

Israeli parliament Speaker Yariv Levin announced Tuesday the vote would take place during a special session on June 13, during which the 120-seat Knesset would vote on whether to greenlight a broad coalition that consists of eight parties scattered across the ideological spectrum. 

The coalition would be sworn in the same day it is approved should it win the 61 votes it needs.

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“It’s happening!” tweeted Yair Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, who spearheaded the effort to bring a coalition together. “The unity government is on the way and will work for all the people of Israel.”

If successful, the vote would mark the end of a 12-year stint by Netanyahu leading Israel. Efforts to pick off right-wing members of the coalition by Netanyahu’s Likud party have failed thus far, but the prime minister has vowed to continue fighting for defections until he is formally ousted.

While Netanyahu would be removed from the prime ministership, he would likely remain a prominent figure in Israeli politics as the leader of the opposition. However, he would lose valuable legal protections as he fights an indictment on corruption allegations. 

Sunday’s vote would mark the culmination of four elections Israel has held in two years, with only the last one resulting in a deal to form a coalition that would control 61 Knesset seats.

The coalition that would replace the Likud-run government consists of a hodgepodge of Israeli parties that has united around the prospect of removing Netanyahu but has little ideological overlap.

Lapid’s party has teamed up with a number of right-wing parties, including Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party, as well as the Raam party, which would be the first Arab party to be part of a ruling coalition.

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Under a deal negotiated by parties involved, Bennett would serve the first two years of a four-year term as prime minister before Lapid finishes up the final two years.

However, speculation has bubbled that the coalition would not last four years given the sheer number of disagreements the coalition members have on issues from peace with the Palestinians to settlements in the West Bank and beyond. 

Lapid and Bennett have hinted that the new government would begin its term focusing on economic and social policies in an attempt to start with a united front.