Netanyahu scrambles to have government ready to go in 48 hours

Binyamin Netanyahu is committed to present his sixth government coalition to the Knesset for swearing in on Thursday morning, although more than two months of intense horse-trading have left most coalition agreements still unsigned and controversial legislation demanded by potential partners in mid-course. His own Likud lawmakers are still on tenterhooks for the posts to be assigned them. Most senior portfolios, such as treasury, national security and interior, have already been pledged to far right and ultra-religious partners; other ministries, including education and security, have been carved up to meet those same partners’ demands. The designated prime minister’s largesse to extremist demands – for the sake of a 64-member Knesset majority for his government – has prompted fierce criticism in many circles.

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