Netanyahu agrees coalition deal with 61 seats
President Reuven Rivlin had given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until 6th May to form a government and the Prime Minister complied with just two hours to spare before the deadline ended.
The result, however, is a difficult looking coalition with 61 seats in the 120 seat Knesset leaving the Prime Minister open to political blackmail as each of the smaller parties seek to get their favourite policies implemented.
The list of Ministers is incomplete and the first batch of Ministers is likely to be sworn in next Monday. There are still gaps including that for Foreign Minister after Avigdor Lieberman dramatically resigned earlier this week and took his Yisrael Beiteinu (6 seats) into opposition.
From the details we have been able to gather so far the new government looks like this:
Likud – 30 seats – centre-right, the Prime Minister’s party. They will take most portfolios with the Foreign Ministry staying with Netanyahu for the time being.
Jewish Home – 8 seats – right-wing and orthodox nationalist led by Naftali Bennett (Minister of Education and Diaspora); Ayelet Shaked (Minister of Justice); Uri Ariel (Minister of Agriculture). They will also get the Deputy Defence Minister post.
Kulanu – 10 seats – centre-right led by Moshe Kahlon (Minister of Finance). They are also expected to take the Construction, and Environmental Protection portfolios
Shas – 7 seats – ultra-orthodox led by Aryeh Deri (Minister of Economy and Religious Services), the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee and Deputy Finance Minister are also theirs
United Torah Judaism – 6 seats – ultra-orthodox led by Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni. They are expected to take the Health portfolio