22:43 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before voting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    Netanyahu 'Unlikely' To Stay in Power 'Beyond March 2020' - Pundits

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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following a decision by Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to indict the former on multiple counts of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, said Thursday the charges are intended to depose him from his post as head of government.

    Mandelblit earlier in the day indicted Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Mandelblit will reportedly ask parliament to waive the PMs immunity, which could take at least a month. The indictment - the first brought against a sitting Israeli prime minister - could reportedly change the ongoing process of forming a governing coalition.

    Noor Dahri, executive director, Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, a counter-terrorism think tank in the UK, and independent researcher on the Middle East, shares his view on the issue.

    "The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been charged in three criminal cases of bribery, which is not a good sign for the PM as a future leader of the nation. The highest reputable post of the PM-ship is trust and the trust has been breached. Netanyahu’s future seems not bright and his Likud party will suffer from the impact of these charges", Dahri states.

    Dahri says, however, that there is no concrete evidence apart from accusations.

    "People need to understand that these charges are still to be proved in a court and till that time the PM should not be considered guilty. The Israeli establishment wants a new and clean face to run the country by implementing a completely new policy", Dahri notes.

    According to Dahri, the Tel Aviv establishment is seeking "a balanced leader", who can have a variety of political agendas.

    "The Israeli political and social trend is rapidly changing, and the establishment needs a balanced leader, not a hardcore because there is a huge gap between two political blocs, the right-wing and the left-wing. Therefore, the establishment wants a leader who can have different political agendas for both blocs, as well as the Arab political bloc", Dahri says.

    Dahri doubts, however, that Netanyahu can stay in power.

    "I am very much doubtful about the future of Bibi, but a bright future for the newly-rising political leader Benny Gantz, if not today then definitely tomorrow. The nation of Israel has decided to bring a new face who can lead the nation in a new direction because there are many internal challenges that the nation faces currently", Dahri states.

    Gilead Sher, an Israeli attorney who served as chief of staff and policy coordinator to former Israeli prime minister and minister of defence, Ehud Barak, suggests that Netanyahu's political career at the high-profile level is doomed.

    "It is rather unlikely that Netanyahu will keep his post as prime minister beyond March 2020, even if Likud eventually establishes the next government. Likud's leadership will be probably contested in primaries prior to the general elections", Sher says.

    Sher suggests that Netanyahu is impeding "political inter-party negotiations" and his departure would resolve the current impasse.

    "Without Netanyahu, a pressure valve that blocked the political inter-party negotiations will be released. I expect a more flexible political environment that will allow bypassing the current deadlock", Sher said.

    Netanyahu's trial has not yet started and many uncertainties remain, Shers notes, adding that it is too early to make any predictions or forecast Tel Aviv's political future.

    "The answer to this question is unclear at this point in time as there are too many moving parts and variables. The process of acquiring immunity has not started to-date and it will in itself affect the political scene. The legal processes will be from now on and for several years ahead (until a final judgment by a court of law after all appeals have been exhausted) intertwined with the political ones", Sher says.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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