«Israeli» Parliament to Be Sworn in Without New Gov’t
By Staff, Agencies
The “Israeli” entity's parliament will be sworn in Thursday without a new government formed as a deadlocked general election leaves the entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scrambling to find a path to extend his long tenure in power.
Members of parliament elected in September 17 polls will take their oaths of office at 4 pm [1300 GMT] in a ceremony that will to a large degree be hollow due to deadlocked coalition talks.
The stalemate has even raised the risk that the new parliament's term will be extremely short since it could cause yet another election.
It would be the third in the space of a year after April polls too ended inconclusively, with Netanyahu unable to form a coalition afterwards.
Netanyahu faces even longer odds this time, and as a result has been seeking to form a unity government that would include his main opponent Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White alliance.
At the same time, Netanyahu's lawyers are seeking to fend off corruption charges against him at a four-day, closed-door hearing that began at the attorney general's office Wednesday.
His unity government efforts have failed so far, with the two sides at odds on a range of issues, including who would be prime minister first in a rotation arrangement.
Thursday morning, Netanyahu met with former minister of war Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beitenu party could end up as kingmakers.
Lieberman has declined to endorse either Netanyahu or Gantz for now and has called for a unity government between the three parties.
Netanyahu's right-wing Likud said the meeting ended without a breakthrough, while Lieberman said afterwards that he had reiterated his demand for a unity administration.