Itongadol.- Senior Yesh Atid officials estimated on Friday morning that the path for their party to join the coalition has been paved. According to the officials, the new coalition will be presented at the start of the coming week.
Party officials: Lapid-Netanyahu talks fruitful, Israeli coalition to be announced early next week
Significant progress was made after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid on Friday morning at the Prime Minister\’s residence in Jerusalem. The meeting was described as "positive" and, according to a source close to the parties, progress was made that would pave the way for Yesh Atid to join Netanyahu\’s third government.
At Friday\’s meeting, the two sides drew conclusions regarding the makeup of government portfolios and the fundamentals of the coalition.
So far, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid’s insistence on the Foreign Ministry has been the stumbling block to forming a government.
But Likud sources said they believed that Lapid would drop his demand for the Foreign Ministry in exchange for funding for issues dear to his party. Yesh Atid would also receive the chairmanship of an additional Knesset committee or an additional ministerial post.
The sources said they believed the finance portfolio would go to Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who expressed an interest in the position after Lapid turned it down.
According to the discussions, Likud is to have six ministers, Yesh Atid five, Yisrael Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi three each, Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah two and Kadima one. Likud wanted to have two more ministers and give another minister each to Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu, but Yesh Atid objected.