Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is closer to forming a new coalition after the head of the Bayit Yehudi party relinquished his demand for the foreign ministry, political sources said, AFP reports.
Netanyahu, whose Likud party won a surprise victory in a March 17 election, has until May 6 to piece together a new government, after receiving a 14-day extension last week.
Despite a month of intensive negotiations, Netanyahu has not yet managed to form a coalition, expected to comprise six rightwing and religious parties and have 67 of parliament’s 120 seats.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, currently economy minister, had been demanding the foreign ministry, held now by Yisrael Beitenu leader Avidgor Lieberman. But over the weekend Bennett set his sights instead on the education ministry and formally asked Netanyahu for the portfolio.