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Likud asks for 2-week extension to nail down coalition deals

Likud party chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Likud MK Yariv Levin in the assembly hall of the Knesset on November 21, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud party chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu (left) with Likud MK Yariv Levin in the assembly hall of the Knesset on November 21, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has presented a request to President Isaac Herzog to extend the prospective prime minister’s mandate to form a government by two weeks.

Netanyahu’s 28-day mandate expires at midnight on the night of December 11. Having originally planned to form a government within days of the November 1 election, Netanyahu has found himself mired in squabbles with the various right-wing and religious parties that make up his bloc of supporters in the Knesset.

A letter to Herzog notes that Likud has signed tentative deals with all the parties expected to join his coalition, but issue remain regarding the distribution of ministerial and Knesset committee assignments. It appears to indicate that agreements have already been reached on the nascent government’s agenda.

A two-week extension is allowed by law and customarily approved. Herzog is widely expected to grant it this time as well.

Netanyahu is now expected to attempt a complicated legislative blitz before his government is sworn in, to enable the myriad agreements he has made to be honored.

Responding to the request, Yesh Atid calls it a sign of Netanyahu’s “weakness” in coalition talks.

“Even after he’s given out everything, he still has trouble forming a government and asks for an extension. It will be interesting to see what remains to squeeze out of Netanyahu,” the party says in a statement.

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