Netanyahu expected to complete Israeli gov’t formation Wednesday

Netanyahu expected to complete Israeli gov’t formation Wednesday

Deadline for Netanyahu to form his government expires midnight Wednesday

By Abdel Raouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is widely expected to complete his government formation on Wednesday.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said Netanyahu will officially inform President Isaac Herzog by midnight Wednesday that he has succeeded in ensuring his majority coalition.

“Protocol dictates that the announcement must also be made to the Knesset,” the newspaper said.

Netanyahu will then have one week to present his government to a parliamentary vote.

According to the newspaper, the members of the incoming coalition government were initially informed to prepare for a vote and swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 28, before Netanyahu's Likud Party postponed the event by one day.

If Netanyahu fails to form the government by midnight Wednesday, Herzog will have two options, either to extend the deadline by four days, or to assign another official to form the government.

Netanyahu has said more than once in recent days that he had reached agreements with many political parties.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, however, said that Netanyahu is still working on distributing ministerial portfolios to members of the Likud Party.

“Likud is expected to clinch the ministries of defense, foreign affairs and transportation, as well as the position of the Speaker of the Knesset,” it added.

* Ikram Imane Kouachi contributed to this report

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