Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Isaac Herzog elected president of Israel as coalition prepares to unseat Benyamin Netanyahu

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, June 3rd 2021 à 14:55 | Read 232 times

Isaac Herzog will take office in July 2021 (photo: Knesset)
Isaac Herzog will take office in July 2021 (photo: Knesset)
ISRAEL. The deputies of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, voted on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Isaac Herzog as president of the country by eighty-seven votes in favour and twenty-six who voted for Miriam Peretz. The Labour Party will take office on July 9, 2021, when the term of his predecessor, Reuven Rivlin, ends. His role is purely honorary.

Head of the Labour Party since November 2013, 60-year-old Isaac Herzog was first elected as a member of parliament in 2003 before holding a series of ministerial posts (Welfare and Social Services, Diaspora and Anti-Semitism, Tourism, Construction and Housing) between 2005 and 2011. His father, Chaim, was the sixth president of Israel from 1983 to 1993.
Isaac Herzog was also appointed Chairman of the Jewish Agency in 2018 for four years, but relinquished that position to run for the state presidency. A proponent of a resumption of dialogue to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he had lost the legislative elections in 2015 to Benyamin Netanyahu.

On the same day as his election, a breakthrough came in the political crisis that the country has been going through for two years. Four legislative elections (the last in March 2021 won by Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud) have followed one another without any government being able to maintain power.


Naftali Bennet likely to be next prime minister

Isaac Herzog's rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister since March 2009 and embroiled in three corruption scandals, is unable to form a government, as requested by Reuven Rivlin in April 2021. All his opponents are now ganging up on him to encourage his departure. The leader of the opposition, Yair Lapid, announced to the President of the Republic, very late in the evening of Wednesday, June 2, 2021, that he had assembled a coalition with eight parties (two from the left, two from the centre, three from the right and one Arab). He is therefore ready to propose a government of national unity capable of obtaining a vote of confidence in the Knesset. Sixty-one MPs' votes are needed. It remains for the Parliament, chaired by Likud member Yariv Levin, to officially approve this new team.

This opening could avoid the dissolution of the Knesset and the organization of a fifth election, as feared until now.

49-year-old businessman Naftali Bennet of the Yamina formation (radical right - economic ultra-liberalism), a former adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu, would head the coalition and thus become Prime Minister. This position would be rotating and would then go to Yair Lapid.


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