Yamina, Yesh Atid making progress in unity government talks

Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid. Photos: El'ad Guttman, Sraya Diamant - Flash 90.

Negotiating teams from Yamina and Yesh Atid meet with New Hope, Blue and White representatives to hammer out coalition agreement.

Negotiating teams from four opposition parties met overnight to discuss terms for the formation of a new government, after Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett committed publicly to joining a unity government with Yesh Atid.

Representatives from the Yamina, Yesh Atid, New Hope, and Blue and White parties gathered late last night and continued talks until 3:00 a.m. Monday to hammer out the details of the new government.

A team representing Yisrael Beytenu was also involved in talks overnight, meeting with a team of negotiators focused on the new government’s economic policies. Yisrael Beytenu is expected to receive the Finance Ministry portfolio in the new government.

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The New Hope party is currently demanding a ministerial portfolio for MK Yoaz Hendel, who is seeking either the Sports and Culture Ministry, or the Agricultural Ministry portfolio.

Blue and White has also demanded both of these ministries, and as of now has refused to concede either.

There are also divisions regarding the makeup of the judicial appointments committee, with right-wing lawmakers demanding they retain a majority on the committee.

MK Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) is demanding that the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry portfolio be merged with the Interior Ministry, but Yisrael Beytenu is currently opposed to the move.

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) has expressed hopes he will be able to notify President Reuven Rivlin that a coalition has been secured for a new government.

Lapid’s mandate to form a government is set to expire at midnight this Wednesday.

(Arutz 7).

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