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Israeli Opposition Head Announces He Can Form Government

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Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party, delivers a statement to the press in Jerusalem, May 31, 2021. (Debbie Hill/Reuters)

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid announced that he is able to form a new government, in another step towards ousting longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lapid’s coalition is made up of parties from the left and right wings of the political spectrum, many of whom would not normally sit together in the same government. Additionally, for the first time in Israel’s history, an Arab political party signed on as part of the prospective governing coalition.

The new government must survive a vote of confidence in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, but the Knesset will not be in session for another twelve days. This means that members of Lapid’s coalition may defect in the meantime, potentially sending Israel to another round of elections.

“I am honored to inform you that I have succeeded in forming a government,” Lapid told Israeli president Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

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