No progress in talks between Likud, Blue and White to avert elections — TV

The Likud and Blue and White parties failed to make progress over the weekend on a deal to avert new elections, with both sides pessimistic a deal can be reached, Channel 12 news reports.

The network says the main point of contention is the demand by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who faces corruption charges in three graft cases, that Likud be given more involvement in the appointment of top legal and judicial officials.

The parties must reach an agreement by Tuesday night, or the Knesset will automatically dissolve due to the lack of state budget.

A failure to pass a budget is the lone visible loophole in the rotation agreement that would let Netanyahu avoid having to give up the premiership to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz in November 2021. As such, Likud has been holding up the budget for months in an effort to renegotiate a more favorable coalition agreement that would see Netanyahu’s one-and-half-year term extended at the expense of Gantz’s identical allotment of time as premier. Likud is also seeking to curb the influence of Blue and White Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn.