Israeli Parliament dissolves, FM Yair Lapid to become PM


Tel Aviv, June 30 : Israeli lawmakers on Thursday unanimously voted to dissolve Parliament, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's fragile coalition government collapsed, triggering the fifth general election in less than four years. The 120-member Knesset (Parliament) voted 92-0 to dissolve and to hold the election on November 1, Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying. Bennett is expected to hand power to Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, under the power-sharing deal they agreed upon following inconclusive elections in 2021. Lapid will officially become the caretaker Prime Minister on Friday and will hold the position until the next government is formed. In a televised address on Wednesday, the outgoing Prime Minister had announced that he will not run in the November polls, saying the past year was marked by personal attacks against him and constant attempts to topple his government by the opposition led by his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu. He added that it was "hard" for him and his family. Bennett led a coalition made up of eight ideologically diverse parties, including Dovish liberals, centrists, Hawkish right-wingers and an Arab party that had made history by joining for the first time a ruling coalition in Israel, united with the aim of ousting Netanyahu who is facing a criminal trial over corruption charges. Netanyahu, who is now the opposition leader, has been holding talks on establishing a new coalition government within the current Parliament without dissolving it, according to reports by state-owned Kan TV news and other local media. But he and his right-wing Likud party are reportedly far from recruiting enough lawmakers for the move. /IANS


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