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AFP
May 5, 2021

Netanyahu faces deadline to form govt

World

AFP
May 5, 2021

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced a midnight deadline on Tuesday to form a government, a daunting task that would likely require convincing the Jewish far-right to cooperate with an Islamic party.

Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, was given a 28-day window to forge a majority coalition following a March 23 general election, Israel’s fourth inconclusive vote in less than two years.

The prime minister’s right-wing Likud party won the most seats in the vote, but as results came it became clear that he would again struggle to secure a majority in the 120-seat parliament.

But hours before his negotiating window was due to expire at 2100 GMT, the obstacles facing the 71-year-old premier remained largely unchanged. A coalition will likely require coming to terms with his estranged former protege Naftali Bennett, leader of the hawkish Yamina party. It will also probably require persuading the far-right Religious Zionism alliance to tacitly cooperate with the Islamic conservative Raam party.