Despite Coalition Talks Stalling, Liberman Says He’ll Only Recommend Netanyahu

YERUSHALAYIM -
The Knesset in Yerushalayim.

MK Avigdor Liberman said at an event on Friday morning that sources in the Likud had asked him to examine options for forming another government, not led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, rather another member of the Likud.

“There were requests from within the Likud to take a different route and create another government,” Liberman told participants at an event in Netivot.

“We recommended Netanyahu to President Rivlin. We will not recommend anyone else, despite the requests from within the Likud and from outside of it, to take different routes. We will not accept those requests.

“The coalition agreements were handled in a careless and unsuccessful manner. The responsibility is the Likud’s,” said Liberman.

The Likud responded, “The Likud’s only request to Liberman was and is that he join a right-wing government led by Netanyahu. There will be no other alternative, as the party heads agreed yesterday. We need to find a way to work together to form this government and to prevent the creation of a left-wing government.”

The Likud and the right-wing parties note that in closed discussions, Liberman was willing to agree on certain compromises in the draft law, but every time a solution was reached, he raised another difficulty, thus their interpretation is that Lieberman is out to undermine Netanyahu. That is why, say analysts, Netanyahu decided to blow up the incident Thursday night, in order to make Liberman compromise, or at least put the public blame on him for new elections.

If, indeed, the deadline expires and no coalition is formed, Rivlin will open consultations and look for a new candidate as prime minister, other than Netanyahu.

On the other hand, the talk of forming a government of just 60 MKs, without Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, also isn’t so feasible. Liberman announced that he would oppose this notion, and would vote against it, thus the new government would not receive the needed votes to pass. According to a Haaretz report, Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party have also said they wouldn’t support a minimal government of 60 MKs.