Jerusalem, May 15 (IANS) The swearing in of the new Israeli new government has been postponed, hours before its inauguration, due to coalition hurdles.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party said in a joint statement that the swearing in of their power-sharing government was delayed until Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The move came amidst discontent by some seven senior Likud lawmakers who are close associates of Netanyahu and were not assigned by him for ministerial positions in the new government.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Deputy Defence Minister Avi Dichter wrote on Twitter that they will boycott the vote in Parliament to approve the new government, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, Gantz, Netanyahu’s former rival, said he will withdraw his resignation from his position as Parliament speaker.
The unprecedented power-sharing government was scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday night, after three rounds of inconclusive elections, in which no candidate won enough votes to form a government.
The 18-month-long political deadlock has paralyzed Israel’s political arena.
Under the unity agreement, signed in April, Netanyahu will serve as Prime Minister for at least 18 months before being replaced by Gantz.
Gantz will serve as Defence Minister and “alternate Prime Minister”, a title tha did not exist before in Israeli politics.
The new government is slated to be the largest in Israel’s history with between 34 to 36 ministerial portfolios.
The excess comes at a time when the projections for the Israeli economy were that it will shrink in 2020 and there are approximately one million unemployed people.
According to the deal reached between Gantz and Netanyahu, Israel could begin to move on annexation of parts of the West Bank as early as July as part of the implementation of the US peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians.