Israel to swear in govt after 500-day political crisis

Israel to swear in govt after 500-day political crisis

Israel after more than 500 days of political deadlock, three inconclusive elections in a year and finally an unprecedented power-sharing deal between rivals, Israel was poised to swear in a new government on Thursday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz agreed to a three-year coalition government last month, with cabinet posts split between their respective allies.

Through the three weeks since the pact was signed, leaders from various parties have haggled for key positions.

In a letter sent to President Reuven Rivlin late Wednesday, Netanyahu, a right-winger in power since 2009, announced the government’s composition had been finalized.

Israel Set to Swear in Biggest Fovt Under PM Netanyahu after ...

Under the deal, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for the coming 18 months, a victory for a leader due to stand trial from May 24 on corruption charges, which he denies.

Gantz will be alternate prime minister — a new position in Israeli politics — for the first half of the deal, before he and Netanyahu swap roles.

In an op-ed on Thursday, pro-Netanyahu paper Israel Hayom wrote the premier had signed off on his own “expiration date” after the longest tenure as prime minister in Israeli history.

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