January 27, 2023

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Netanyahu Starts Meeting Likud MKs for Doling out Remaining Ministries

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On Tuesday, incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started meeting with Likud party lawmakers for doling out the remaining ministerial positions.

This is ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of his government on Thursday. A number of prominent members of the Likud party want to have the remaining ministries left.

The ministries

Most of the prime portfolios have already been given to other parties that make up the coalition. A number of lawmakers from the Likud faction have criticized Netanyahu.

This is due to the fact that instead of keeping the main positions within Likud, he has given them out to other parties.

On Tuesday evening, Netanyahu was scheduled to meet with David Amsalem, the Likud firebrand, and a meeting with loyalist Amir Ohana was also on the agenda for later.

After the meeting, Amsalem bitterly said that he would not get any ministries. He stated that it was the price they had to pay for standing for their principles and loyalty.

In recent weeks, Amsalem had been campaigning for the role of justice minister or Knesset speaker. As for Ohana, he has been aiming for the foreign minister role, but Netanyahu is reportedly considering him as Knesset speaker.

The Likud leader is scheduled to convene a meeting with his party on Wednesday and the Knesset speaker would be chosen then.

Final consultations

Later on Tuesday, the incoming Prime Minister was also scheduled for the final consultations about ministerial positions.

He would also continue meeting with Likud MKs on Wednesday afternoon, just a day before the swearing-in takes place at the Knesset.

The foreign ministry has also been demanded by MK Israel Katz and reports indicate that Netanyahu is thinking about appointing him for the position, but in rotation with another.

The second candidate would likely be Ron Dermer, the former ambassador of Israel to the United States. Dermer is a close confidante of Netanyahu and the latter wants to give him a top position.

He had previously considered making Dermer foreign minister, but senior Likud members had contested the idea.

Other roles

On Tuesday, Yariv Levin gave his resignation from the position of Knesset speaker, which he had taken up temporarily.

According to reports, he is one of the top candidates to be considered for heading the Justice Ministry. Reports also indicate that the position of defense and education minister are to be assigned to Yoav Gallant and Eli Cohen, respectively.

As far as the education portfolio is concerned, reports indicate that MK Miri Regev has been running for that position.

It has also been reported that Netanyahu is thinking about handing some of the senior ministerial roles to lawmakers who may have made a move against him recently, as this would help neutralize any threats.

Yuli Edelstein, David Bitan, Katz and Amsalem are the top MKs on this list. Ofir Akunis, Danny Danon and Yoav Kisch are some of the other lawmakers being considered for different portfolios.

Reports indicated that Akunis wants the Economy Ministry, but it remained unclear if he would get it or not.

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