Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political rivals are racing to forge a diverse coalition to unseat the Israeli regime’s longest-serving right-wing premier.
The Yamina party, led by hard-right millionaire Naftali Bennett, says will join forces with Yair Lapid, the so-called centrist opposition figure. Bennett and Lapid have until midnight (2200 GMT) Wednesday to form a ruling coalition.
Israeli media reports say the team-up will allow Bennett to lead for the first two years, which will be followed by Lapid.
In order to build such an anti-Netanyahu bloc, the duo would still need the support of other lawmakers to gain a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset (Israel’s parliament).
Lapid must sign individual agreements with seven parties. He counts on the ones representing Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Lapid on Monday said “many obstacles” remain before a coalition to oust Netanyahu is agreed.
“Maybe that’s a good thing, because we’ll have to overcome them together,” he told members of his party. “That’s our first test – to see if we can find smart compromises in the coming days to achieve the greater goal.”
Netanyahu has accused Bennett of trying to form a “leftist” ruling structure that would ensure his rise to premiership.
The Israeli regime has held four parliamentary elections only in the past two years, all of them inconclusive, amid lack of confidence in Netanyahu and his allies. Bennett’s alliance could avert a fifth one.
Netanyahu has said Bennett is trying to preempt another election, because “he knows that his party will not secure enough votes.”