Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett says that if Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is forced to resign as a result of his mounting legal problems, he will opt for going to the polls.
This effectively ends any option of the Likud forming a new government if Netanyahu resigns.
Under Israeli law, if the PM resigns, it is as if the entire government has resigned. The ruling party has the right to appoint a new leader, and if he can prove he can form a viable government that will obtain the Knesset’s confidence, the President will grant a mandate to form a new government.
This previously happened in 1983. Begin resigned, and Shamir formed a new government.
Since the Likud cannot form a new government without Bayit Yehudi, unless it is willing to radically change its policies and form a coalition with Zionist Camp and Yesh Atid (such a government would have a safe majority), if Netanyahu is forced to quit, the result will be early elections.
This puts Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in an unenviable position, as Bennett is handing him the hot potato of determining if the country will be holding early elections.
By Yoni Ariel/TPS – Tazpit News Agency