Report: Gantz, Bennett Hold Talks on New Elections

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (L.) and his successor Benny Gantz. (F(lash90)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) recently met with Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett, Kan News reported Sunday.

According to the report, the two met to discuss the prospect of dismantling the current coalition and setting off a new election.

In his interview with Kan on Sunday morning, Bennett, a former ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who is now in the opposition, offered no comments on the report.

“There is no election [in the near future],” he said, while also lashing out at the Netanyahu-led government over the current state of the economy.

As per the report, MKs in the Blue and White party also recently held talks with opposition head Yair Lapid, chief of Yesh Atid.

Gantz reportedly suspects that Netanyahu is not planning to honor the part of the coalition agreement that provides for their rotation on the prime minister’s post in November of 2021, noting that no budget has yet been passed for 2020 and 2021 as a hint at that.

The report comes as Channel 12 revealed its latest poll this weekend, giving Netanyahu’s Likud party 28 seats if an election was to be held right now.

Bennet’s Yamina would come in second with a strong return of 22 seats, followed by Yesh Atid-Telem with 17 seats and the Joint List of Arab parties with 13 MKs.

Eleven seats were projected for Blue and White, slightly up on past polls.

The poll predicted eight seats each for the chareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, and seven seats for Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu.

Meretz would win six seats if an election were held now, the poll showed.

In terms of blocs, the poll indicated 66 seats for the rightwing-religious bloc and 54 for a leftwing bloc that included Yisrael Beytenu.

Labor, Derech Eretz, Habayit Hayehudi and Gesher would not make it past the 3.25% minimum electoral threshold, the poll showed.