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News > Country

Naftali Bennett Sworn in as Israel's New Prime Minister

  • Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, June 13, 2021.

    Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem, June 13, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 14 June 2021
Opinion

The forming of the new coalition government ended a political crisis in a country that has seen four elections in two years.

On Sunday night, Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing United Right party (Yamina), was sworn in as Israel’s Prime Minister, sending Benjamin Netanyahu to the opposition after a record 12-year rule.

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This came after the new coalition government, headed by Bennett and Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, was approved by the parliament.

In the vote of confidence held in the parliament earlier, 60 out of 120 lawmakers voted in favor of the new government while 59 voted against it.

TV footage of the parliament session showed Bennett and Lapid taking their new seats at the coalition seats in the parliament, while Netanyahu moved to the back seats of the opposition. At the same time, the 27 new ministers of the new governing coalition were also sworn in.

Bennett and Lapid will rotate as the prime minister on a two-year base, with Bennett going first. Lapid will serve as Israel's alternate prime minister and foreign minister.

The parliament also elected Mickey Levy, a lawmaker with Yesh Atid, as its new speaker. The new coalition encompasses eight parties, including the Islamist Ra'am party, the first Arab faction to be included in a governing coalition.

Thousands of Israelis gathered on Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to celebrate the end of Netanyahu's rule. The forming of the new coalition government has ended a political crisis in Israel, a country that has seen four elections in two years.

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