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Israel’s Netanyahu May Be PM First, But Gantz Could Serve Longer Under Rotation Scheme - Report

© REUTERS / RONEN ZVULUNIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he sits next to Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, during a memorial ceremony for late Israeli President Shimon Peres, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he sits next to Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, during a memorial ceremony for late Israeli President Shimon Peres, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - Sputnik International
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The two Israeli political party chiefs suggested a leadership rotation scheme as a way to overcome the current deadlock that has prevented Israel from forming a government since April.

The leader of Israel’s Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, might be awarded with the first premiership in a proposed rotation scheme with rival Blue and White Party, but Blue and White leader Benny Gantz will serve longer – up to three years out of a total of four, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday, citing Israeli Hebrew-language news outlets.

According to a Channel 13 report, the idea was floated by the Likud leader. 

Negotiating teams from the two parties met Tuesday, following a Monday meeting between Netanyahu, Gantz, and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

The sides agreed that the first prime minister to take office must give control of two out of three ministerial positions - Foreign Affairs, Treasury or Defense – to his competitor, according to Ynet.

The two teams issued a joint statement saying the meeting was “matter of fact and held in good spirits,” according to the Times.

The joint statement says the two teams will update their leaders “regarding the meeting’s content, and then decide on next steps.”

Netanyahu and Gantz will meet again at Rivlin’s residence on Wednesday. Rivlin must announce his decision on the next prime minister before 2 October, the Times reported.

The rotation scheme was suggested as a way of overcoming a political deadlock in Israel following the second national elections this year. The Blue and White received 33 seats in Knesset, while Likud, following a Central Election committee results amendment on Tuesday, was awarded with 32. Even if combined with smaller parties, who threw their support behind one of the two leaders, neither party has secured the required minimum of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset.

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