Israel: Netanyahu starts coalition talks to form the government

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26 years after being elected as Israel’s prime minister for the first time, Benjamin Netanyahu is gearing up for another tenure in the office. After making a stunning comeback in the election, Netanyahu, more fondly known as King Bibi has started coalition talks to form the government.

Reportedly, after securing a decisive majority in Israel’s fifth election in four years, Netanyahu has instructed Yariv Levin, his right-hand man to open talks with Religious Zionism and two ultra-Orthodox parties over portfolios.

Reports suggest that Netanyahu is set to form one of the most right-wing governments in history with his religious and ultranationalist allies. 

Bezalel Smotric and Itamar Ben-Gvir are expected to receive important ministerial berths 

Read more: Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel’s longest-serving PM with his share of scandals

Netanyahu led his Likud Party to become the largest political group in Knesset with 32 seats. Together with his allies, the Netanyahu-led right religious bloc has 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset. 

This election caps the country’s ongoing political instability. Last year, Netanyahu was ousted as the country’s longest-serving leader after 12 years. 

WATCH | Israel elections 2022: Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc heads for majority

Earlier this week on Thursday, Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Yair Lapid conceded defeat and congratulated Netanyahu for the victory. 

“The state of Israel comes before any political consideration. I wish Netanyahu success, for the sake of the people of Israel and the state of Israel,” said the interim prime minister.

Read more: Israel election: Netanyahu makes a comeback, PM Yair Lapid concedes defeat

Furthermore, a statement by his office said that following the results he also “instructed his entire office to prepare an organised transition of power.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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