Jerusalem: The Israeli Knesset witnessed a change in leadership with the turn of events in the past week forcing the current coalition of eight political parties to brace themselves for a fresh round of polls in the coming November. A centrist Party leader and former television anchor, Yair Lapid has taken the reins from Naftali Bennett to serve as interim prime minister of the coalition government till the poll date of November 1, 2022. He previously served as Alternate Prime Minister of Israel and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2021 to 2022 in Bennett’s government.
The handover of charge is as per an accord that facilitated the rotation of premiership that was reached earlier. The interim government, however, has tough times ahead owing to a combination of adverse factors. Besides mounting inflation and escalation of violence on the Palestine front, Israel is also unhappy with the world community that envisages a nuclear deal with Iran.
The deposed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed the change that will play as a sequel to Israel going for fresh polls in early November. The crisis was fuelled by a far-right member of the cabinet quitting on grounds that unleavened bread should not be served in public hospitals during the week-long Passover celebrations. Naftali lost in the numbers game despite his endeavour to focus only on consensus issues that were permitted by the eight-party coalition.
Though Netanyahu is euphoric about his prospects of regaining the Prime Minister’s chair, the aura of uncertainty continues to prevail with no mandate in sight for a clear majority. Lapid had defeated Netanyahu during Israel’s previous round of polls in 2021.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Lapid for assuming the premiership of Israel. Modi also thanked Lapid’s predecessor Naftali Bennett for being a true friend of India. In a series of tweets, Modi said he cherished the “fruitful interactions” with Bennet, and added that he looked forward “to continue furthering our strategic partnership as we celebrate 30 years of full diplomatic relations”.
Top Photo: Knesset
– global bihari bureau