Netanyahu in favor of direct vote for prime minister

As a way out of the long political impasse, PM Binyamin Netanyahu has come down in favor of the plan to hold a separate national vote for prime minister without dissolving the current Knesset to hold a fifth parliamentary election. This change, proposed by Shas leader internal affairs minister Aryeh Deri, would obviate the need for a fifth national election after the preceding four in just over two years failed to produce a majority of 61 MKs to support any government coalition. Netanyahu accused Yamina leader Naftali Bennett of turning two ways Janus-like in the hope of nabbing the premiership on a rotating basis by a deal with the anti-Netanyahu bloc of small parties led by opposition leader Yair Lapid. Lapid too claims no more than 45 of 120 Knesset members for what he calls a “government of national unity.”

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