Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not yet reconciled” to losing power, but his Likud party MKs generally are, Channel 12’s political correspondent Yaron Avraham says.
“Netanyahu is still battling… He’s still hoping that something will go wrong [in the eight-party coalition set to be sworn in Sunday]… that there’ll be another [Avichai] Chikli” — the Yamina MK who has said he will vote against the new government. “He hasn’t given up.”
Avraham notes that Netanyahu has no intention of quitting politics if the new government wins Knesset approval. “He’ll go into the opposition… And I’m not sure there’ll be a [festive] ceremony [when he hands over power to Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett].”
As for Likud MKs, says Avraham, however, they are already eyeing which Knesset committee roles they might seek, “and how they’ll be able to build their [personal] power bases in subsequent Likud primaries.”
“So, I’d distinguish between Likud, where there is reconciliation [to the imminent end of their term in office], and the man who is still at the top, for whom the penny has not yet dropped.”
Leading Likud MKs Miki Zohar and David Bitan have both acknowledged in the past two days that the so-called change government, which anticipates a 61-59 majority, is likely to win Knesset approval. Channel 12 says the two members of Ta’al faction of the mainly Arab Joint List might not vote against the new coalition, potentially enabling a 61-57 majority for the incoming Bennett-Yair Lapid coalition, with two abstentions.