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Saturday, 27 February 2021

Two men, sharing 'prime minister' - can it work?

Duration: 01:51s 0 shares 1 views
Two men, sharing 'prime minister' - can it work?
Two men, sharing 'prime minister' - can it work?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz have signed an agreement for a unity government under which they will take turns leading Israel after three elections that neither won.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

So after three inconclusive elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Benny Gantz are forming a unity government.

In other words: a power sharing deal.

But what does that really mean in practice?

They'll take turns leading Israel.

Right-winger Netanyahu will serve as prime minister of a new administration for a year and a half, while centrist Gantz becomes defense minister.

Netanyahu will then hand over power to Gantz, who will also serve for a year and a half.

While not leading, both Netanyahua and Gantz will act as "substitute prime minister." Some pundits aren’t convinced about the deal, though.

They say Netanyahu – dubbed ‘’the magician’’ may try to find a way to avoid handing over when his time comes.

In fact the deal has a clause in there designed to avoid such a scenario -- giving Gantz power in the months leading to a new election, should Netanyahu dissolve parliament.

And about Netanyahu’s corruption trial?

Amid mass rallies against him, the date for the trial is set for May 24, after being postponed for two months.

If the Supreme Court intervenes and rules that Netanyahu should be removed from office on the bribery, fraud, and breach of trust allegations, then yet another election will come.

When it comes to policy, peacemaking with the Palestinians is an issue.

The coalition agreement states that the new government will strive for peace.

But it may also move towards implementation of Netanyahu's plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

According to the unity deal, such a step, which Netanyahu said will also include formal annexation of the West Bank's Jordan Valley, would have to be approved by the U.S..

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