Likud Reports Significant Progress in Establishment of Government

Shas chairman MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri seen after coalition talks with Religious Zionist party head MK Bezalel Smotrich and Likud head MK Binyamin Netanyahu, Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Likud party announced Monday that the right-wing bloc had submitted all signatures necessary to replace Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy.

This followed criticism by party leaders Rabbi Aryeh Deri and Itamar Ben-Gvir of Netanyahu for not replacing the Speaker although a month has passed since coalition negotiations began.

Levy said he would convene the plenum next Monday to choose his replacement. He said that the bloc’s demand to select a new Knesset Speaker was meant to “advance legislation that will allow convicted people and those sentenced to conditional prison time to serve as ministers.” Levy was referring to Shas chief Rabbi Aryeh Deri, who is seeking to serve as minister.

“Despite the incredible pain in knowing that this is the intention of the emerging coalition, I will act with statesmanship and respect the will of the voter,” Levy said.

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