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Netanyahu’s Allies Said Aiming to Push for Direct PM Elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after his meeting with the Israeli citizen no. 5,000,000 to get the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in Tel Aviv, Israel, March 8, 2021. Miriam Alster/Pool via REUTERS.

i24 News – The allies of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to roll out a bill that would pave the way to direct elections of the country’s next leader, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The bill is reportedly set to be rolled out by Merav Malkiel, a lawmaker with the religious-right Shas party, and is presented as a way out of the political deadlock gripping the country.

The piece of legislation is expected to meet stark opposition from the so-called “change” bloc, led by Netanyahu’s rival Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid faction.

The purported move aims to tap into Netanyahu’s high standing in the polls focused specifically on the premiership role, where he stays ahead of his challengers with a solid lead — albeit no majority

Monday is also expected to see Israeli politicians, including Netanyahu himself, unleash a flurry of statements at their respective faction meetings.

Before that, news broke that Netanyahu summoned ministers from his Likud party to an abrupt meeting in the morning, which was, however, subsequently scrapped.

Besides Netanyahu, the two apparent kingmakers — Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, and Yamina chief Naftali Bennett — are expected to speak, as well as Lapid.

The statements come as Netanyahu has about two weeks to form his government after being given the mandate to do so by President Reuven Rivlin in the wake of the March 23 election.

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