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Likud coalition chief: I can’t see any remaining way to prevent ‘change government,’ Netanyahu’s ouster

Likud MK Miki Zohar arrives for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on May 6, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Likud MK Miki Zohar arrives for a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on May 6, 2021. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Likud MK Miki Zohar, the outgoing coalition chief, says he doesn’t believe Prime Minister Netanyahu has any final tricks up his sleeve to thwart his rivals from forming a “change government” that will see him replaced as premier.

In a Channel 12 interview, Zohar is asked if Netanyahu and Likud have any last-minute magic or surprises that can yet prevent the Bennett-Lapid coalition, which is due to be sworn in on Sunday: “No. I don’t think so,” Zohar replies, adding that Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa’ar, the respective heads of the right-wing Yamina and New Hope parties, have gone too far to turn back now.

“Bennett understands that he’s lost all his supporters [were he to face the electorate again]. Gideon Sa’ar has completely given up on his right-wing ideology, in order to achieve his personal, childish revenge against Netanyahu,” says Zohar, the Likud faction leader. “And therefore I can’t see any situation where they’ll change course or mess up in the last minute. They’ve made their decision [to push out Netanyahu], including the huge price they’ll pay for it.”

Zohar says Likud’s decision yesterday to reserve three spots on its electoral list for any eleventh-hour defectors “was a kind of late-minute effort, pretty late, and pretty unlikely to succeed, in all honesty.”

“I of course voted in favor of the move in order to keep that chance alive, but it was plainly too late,” he continues. “Things over there [in the change bloc] have been worked out and sealed, and will lead to a [change bloc] government.”

He also voices support for Netanyahu staying on as Likud chief to lead the party from the opposition benches “until we can bring down this lousy government that has been formed.”

“The moment this government falls and we head to elections, we can have leadership primaries [in Likud]… and Netanyahu will be chosen again,” Zohar says.

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