June 6 (UPI) — Naftali Bennett, the leader of Israel’s Yamina Party, urged parliament on Sunday to move forward with a vote on forming a coalition government next week.
Bennett called on Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin to convene the vote on the government that would see his party join with seven others and have him unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and not delay the matter until the following week.
“That’s what’s appropriate,” he said. “I know Netanyahu is pressing you … to allow more days to search for defectors … it might be in Netanyahu’s interest … [but] it’s not in the interest of the state.”
Last week, Bennett, Netanyahu’s former defense minister, announced he would form a government with the Yesh Atid Party and its leader Yair Lapid, which would see Bennett immediately take on the role of Prime Minister with Lapid taking over at a later date.
If the government led by Bennett is voted in on Wednesday, an official transition would take place in the following 48 hours.
In his statement Sunday, Bennett called on Netanyahu to “let go” and “let the country move forward.”
“Don’t leave scorched earth in your wake. We want to remember the good, the great deal of good you did during your service [as prime minister], and not, God forbid, a negative atmosphere you would leave upon your departure.”
Netanyahu’s staff, however, was not preparing for the likely transition, according to a report by The Jerusalem Post.
On Sunday, he called on lawmakers in parties associated with the coalition to vote against the government, declaring that it “endangers the State of Israel.”
“It is late, but not too late. Do the right thing and vote against the left-wing government,” he said.