In a dramatic turn in political fortunes Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister, ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power after an uninterrupted 12 years at the helm of affairs, reported PTI.
Bennett, the 49-year-old leader of the right-wing Yamina party, took oath of office after parliament (Knesset) voted on Sunday on the new government led by him. The new government has 27 ministers, nine of them women.
The new government – an unprecedented coalition of ideologically divergent political parties drawn from the Right, the Left and the Centre, along with an Arab party – has a razor-thin majority in a 120-member house.
Earlier, Bennett presented his new government’s ministers in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in a speech constantly interrupted by supporters of 71-year-old Netanyahu.
According to AP report, Naftali Bennett, the head of a small ultranationalist party, will take over as prime minister. But if he wants to keep the job, he will have to maintain an unwieldy coalition of parties from the political right, left and center.
The eight parties, including a small Arab faction that is making history by sitting in the ruling coalition, are united in their opposition to Netanyahu and new elections but agree on little else. They are likely to pursue a modest agenda that seeks to reduce tensions with the Palestinians and maintain good relations with the U.S. without launching any major initiatives.
Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, remains the head of the largest party in parliament and is expected to vigorously oppose the new government. If just one faction bolts, it could lose its majority and would be at risk of collapse, giving him an opening to return to power.
The new government is promising a return to normalcy after a tumultuous two years that saw four elections, an 11-day Gaza war last month and a coronavirus outbreak that devastated the economy before it was largely brought under control by a successful vaccination campaign.