JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a midnight deadline on Tuesday to form a new coalition government or is looking for the possibility of first leading his Likud party into the opposition. In 12 years
Netanyahu has been struggling to win a majority in parliament since March 23 – when elections ended with a fourth consecutive disruption in the past two years. This is despite repeated meetings with many of his rivals and unprecedented contact with the leader of the small Islamic religious party. But Netanyahu was unable to close the deal in a four-week period.
That window expires at midnight, at which point this will be returned to President Reuven Rivlin in the absence of a deal.
Failure to reach a deal would not immediately push Netanyahu out of office.
Rivlin was able to give him an extra two weeks to form a government. He could allow one of Netanyahu̵7;s opponents to form a government, or in a final move, in desperation, send matters directly to Congress.
That would give lawmakers the opportunity to choose one of their prime minister. If all the options fail, the country will face another election this fall, meaning months of political paralysis.
In the March 23 elections, Netanyahu’s Likud became the largest single-party party, with 30 seats in 120 parliamentarians, but to form a government he needed the support of a 61-seat majority.
The work is largely complicated by members of his own religious and nationalist base.
The New Hope Party, led by former aide Netanyahu, declined to serve as prime minister due to deep personal differences. Zion religion, the far-right party that openly supports the racist platform, supports Netanyahu. But cut off his government service with his Arab alliance, Yamina, another right-wing party led by former Netanyahu aide, refused to make a commitment to him or his opponents.
On Monday, Netanyahu said he had offered Yamina chief, Naftali Bennett, the opportunity to share the prime minister’s job in circulation, with Bennett serving for the first year.
Bennett replied: “ I have never asked Netanyahu to be Prime Minister. I would like to establish a government Unfortunately, he doesn’t have that. “
Appearing on Netanyahu is his ongoing corruption trial. Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, trust violations and bribery in several scandals. The trial went into a testifying phase, with humiliating witnesses accusing him of being assisted by a powerful media mogul. Netanyahu denied the allegations.
In recent days, he has looked increasingly frustrated one day, luring out potential partners and then beating them up with vitriol the next day. The devastating panic last week at a religious festival in which 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews were killed, only his work was complicated, creating an unpleasant diversion and calling. Cried for a formal investigation into the possible negligence on his watch.
Netanyahu’s opponents, meanwhile, held their own meetings in an effort to unite possible alternative governments.
Netanyahu also suffered a shameful and unprecedented setback in Congress.
Earlier this month, his opponents took control of a competent preparatory committee that controls the agenda until a new government is formed. Last week, he was forced to temporarily abandon his allies’ appointment as justice minister before the Supreme Court announced the end of the move.
Despite all Netanyahu’s vulnerabilities But it is unclear whether his opponents could form another government. The opposition includes a number of parties that have little in common except their hatred against Netanyahu.
If Netanyahu fails to assemble that alliance by midnight, he will do his best to prevent his opponents from reaching a deal in the coming weeks.
That will keep him in office until the next election, giving him a fight against corruption charges from the prime minister’s office and give him another chance to get a new office, along with his exemption from prosecution.