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‘Change bloc’ seeking to swear in new government as early as Tuesday

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Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yamina chair Naftali Bennett are trying to expedite coalition negotiations in order to swear in a new government as early as Tuesday this week, sources in the “change bloc” told The Times of Israel on Sunday.

According to the sources, the haste comes over concerns with respect to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to convince Yamina members to oppose the government, following the announcement last week of MK Amichai Chikli that he will vote against it.

Netanyahu and his Likud party are pressing Yamina as a whole, as well as individual MKs, to not join with Lapid in forming a government, with efforts focused on getting other lawmakers from Bennett’s right-wing party to adopt Chikli’s position.

In order to bypass Netanyahu’s efforts, Lapid and Bennett are working to finalize coalition agreements between the parties in the next two days, the sources said.

Then-education minister Naftali Bennett (L) and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid during a ceremony at Netiv Ha’avot, at the West Bank’s Elazar settlement, on July 23, 2017. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Lapid and Bennett’s respective negotiating teams held marathon talks Saturday night until the early hours of Sunday morning during which “significant progress” was made, the Kan public broadcaster reported. The network also said that the two hope to close negotiation agreements by Monday.

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According to the report, the general mechanisms and basic principles by which such a government would operate have been largely agreed upon, and the main issue of contention is now the distribution of ministries and Knesset posts in the coalition. Head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid holds a press conference in Tel Aviv, on May 06, 2021. Photo........

© The Times of Israel

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