Opposition chair and leader of Yesh Atid Yair Lapid notified last night, June 2, President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in assembling majority support for establishing a new government. In other words, his party managed to sign, at the very last moment before his deadline expired, coalition agreements with parties representing a Knesset majority. Lapid must now preserve this majority support until the swearing in of the new government, expected in about a week, making sure no “defectors” impend on his 61 Knesset-member majority.
The Change coalition:
Championing a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been governing for 12 consecutive years, Lapid cobbled up a coalition that unites right, center and left-wing parties, including the Muslim Ra’am party, which will support the government from the outside. Thus, the eight-faction change coalition includes right-wing Yamina, New Hope and Yisrael Beitenu, centrist Yesh Atid, center-left Blue and White and Israeli Labor, left-wing Meretz and Arab Ra’am.
Leading the new government:
As leader of the second-largest Knesset party, and after Likud’s Netanyahu failed in assembling a majority-backed government, Lapid was offered by the president to take up that mission. In order to ensure a majority, Lapid conceded to a rotation agreement with Yamina’s Naftali Bennett, so that Bennett will serve as premier for the first two years of the new government. During these first two years, Lapid will serve as alternate prime minister and as foreign minister, taking up premiership for the third and fourth years of the government.
Break-up of the new government:
Yesh Atid (17 Knesset seats):
Yair Lapid, alternate prime minister and foreign minister for two years, then prime minister for two years
Meir Cohen, welfare minister
Orna Barbivai, minister of economy and trade
Meirav Cohen, minister of social equality
The party will also get the tourism and the energy portfolios.
Yamina (7 Knesset seats):
Naftali Bennett, prime minister for two years, then alternate prime minister and interior minister
Ayelet Shaked, interior minister for two years, then justice minister for two years
Matan Kahana, minister for religious affairs.
The party will also get the settlement portfolio.
Blue and White (8 Knesset seats):
Benny Gantz, defense minister
Pnina Tamano-Shata, absorption minister
Hili Tropper, culture and sports minister
The party will also get the science portfolio.
Yisrael Beitenu (7 Knesset seats):
Avigdor Liberman, finance minister
The party will also get the Negev/Galilee and the agriculture portfolios.
Israeli Labor (7 Knesset seats):
Merav Michaeli, transportation minister
Omer Bar Lev, public security minister
The party will also get the diaspora portfolio.
New Hope (6 Knesset seats):
Gideon Saar, justice minister for two years, then foreign minister for two years
Yifat Shasha Biton, education minister
Ze’ev Elkin, housing minister
Yoaz Hendel, communication minister
Meretz (6 Knesset seats):
Nitzan Horowitz, health minister
Tamar Zandberg, environmental protection minister
Freij Issawi, regional cooperation minister
Ra’am (4 Knesset seats):
No ministers. Mansour Abbas will preside the Knesset’s interior committee.