Israel’s Lapid vows to be PM
Yesh Atid leader Lapid says he wants to be future prime minister. AFP photoYesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Israel’s newest political star, has said he wants to be the future prime minister of Israel in his first interview after recent elections. Lapid, who has not even been sworn in as a first-time lawmaker, said that in the next elections he will run for the post of premier. When asked if he would win, he responded, “I expect to,” according to media.
His statements were quickly criticized, with a senior Likud official saying, “Lapid made a grave mistake. Announcing his plans will harm the coalition talks,” according to daily Haaretz. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will now think twice before assigning him. He doesn’t need a future challenger sitting in a senior position next to him. He will also have difficulty trusting a coalition partner who makes decisions based on his popularity,” he continued.
Likud officials have also criticized Lapid’s long list of demands, including an equitable enlistment law, a foreign minister portfolio, a reduction in the number of ministerial positions and a renewal of diplomatic negotiations with Palestine.
Netanyahu has reportedly offered the Yesh Atid leader the post of foreign minister or finance minister in a new government. Yesh Atid, a centrist party formed only nine months ago, stunned the political establishment by winning 19 seats in last week’s election, second only to Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu alliance, which suffered major blow and secured only 31 of the 120 seats in Parliament.