Merger of Israel’s centrist parties would topple Netanyahu’s Likud: poll
Menahem Kahana (AFP)
A merger between Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid and the center-right Kulanu party would topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud faction in fresh elections, according to a poll published Saturday.
The survey, commissioned by Israel’s Meet the Press, showed that if Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s shared a ballot they would win 29 seats in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) while Netanyahu’s Likud would win 25, down from its current 30.
In such a scenario, the main opposition party Zionist Union would win only 17 seats, while the right wing Jewish Home and Arab Joint List parties be tied at 12 seats.
If the two centrist parties did not run together, Likud would finish first.
Kahlon’s Kulanu party is a key partner in Netanyahu’s ruling coalition, and the current finance minister told Hadashot TV that despite the survey results his party had no plans to form an alliance with Yesh Atid -- currently part of the opposition -- and will run alone in the next election.
The present government has come under pressure over a myriad of corruption accusations currently entangling major power players including Kahlon and Prime Minister Netanyahu himself, with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets week after week in protest demanding their resignations.
Netanyahu has been under investigation in a series of probes involving alleged financial corruption, including an alleged 'quid pro quo' arrangement between Netanyahu and Israeli media mogul Arnon "Noni" Mozes, which would have provided benefit to Mozes' Yedioth Ahronot newspaper in exchange for more favorable coverage for the premier.
The investigations have stirred Israeli politics and led to speculation over whether Netanyahu will eventually be forced to step down.
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Netanyahu is probably the best right wing PM Israel has ever had currently. Any challenger will have to have a detailed platform with concrete policies to have a chance. Bibi brought political maturity and credibility as a leader for Israel and anyone who becomes PM will have to at least have that level or more of clout.
Poitics: the art of Taqiyya!
When is the next election?