Netanyahu accuses Israel of electoral fraud, accuses rival of duplicity
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a new Israeli coalition poised to overthrow him was the result of “the biggest electoral fraud” in democratic history.
Hours after Netanyahu’s comments, Naftali Bennett, a nationalist ready to replace him as prime minister, called on Israel’s longest-serving leader not to leave ‘scorched earth’ behind and to accept that ‘people are allowed to establish a government – even if you don’t “head it.
Netanyahu made his sweeping accusation at a time when Israel’s internal security chief publicly warned of the prospect of political violence.
“We are witnessing the biggest electoral fraud in the history of the country, in my opinion in the history of any democracy,” Netanyahu said in comments to lawmakers in his right-wing Likud party.
He focused his allegations on an unfulfilled campaign pledge from Bennett, who had pledged not to associate with leftist, centrist and Arab parties.
Bennett announced with Opposition Leader Yair Lapid on Wednesday that they had formed a governing coalition with factions from all political backgrounds following an inconclusive March 23 election, the fourth in Israel in two years. .
Under a rotation deal, Bennett will first be Prime Minister, followed by Lapid.
No date has been set for a vote in parliament to approve the new government.
In a televised speech, Bennett called on Yariv Levin, speaker of parliament and Netanyahu loyalist, not to try to buy time to encourage members of the new coalition to defect, and said he should hold the vote on Wednesday. . There was no immediate comment from Levin.
“Let go. Let the country move forward,” Bennett said, addressing Netanyahu, who has been in power since 2009. “Mr. Netanyahu, don’t leave the scorched earth behind. All of us, the entire nation, want for you. remember the good you have done during your service.
Netanyahu’s tenure was clouded by a corruption lawsuit, in which he denied any wrongdoing, but he received praise at home and abroad for Israel’s rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations.
“FRAUD AND ABANDONMENT”
The future new government puts an end to political maneuvers since the elections. People angry at the planned alliance staged protests outside the homes of opposition politicians, whose security has been tightened after threats on social media.
“We, my friends and I in Likud will vehemently oppose the establishment of this dangerous government of fraud and surrender,” Netanyahu said. “And if, God forbid, it is established, we will bring it down very quickly.”
In a rare public warning, the head of the Shin Bet internal security agency said on Saturday that increasingly extreme online speech could lead to violence. Read more
While condemning the violence and incitement, Netanyahu, 71, repeated his designation of the Lapid-Bennett coalition as a left-wing alliance that would endanger Israel.
He said the diverse partnership would be unable to stand up to Washington over Iran’s nuclear program or confront the Hamas militant group in Gaza which fought with Israel for 11 days last month before it took effect. a fragile ceasefire.
Bennett, who heads the far-right Yamina Party and advocates annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, said Netanyahu’s description of the coalition as “far left” was “another lie.”
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