By Mukwuzi Joseph
Naftali Bennett was sworn in as the new prime minister of Israel on Sunday after an eight-party coalition came together to oust Benjamin Netanyahu following his 12-year rule in the country, PTI reported.
Bennett, a 49-year-old leader of the right-wing Yamina party, took oath of office after the Israeli Parliament, Knesset, elected him as the 13th prime minister of the country with a razor-thin majority of 60-59 in the 120-member House. One of the lawmakers abstained from voting.
Under a rotational agreement, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years, after which he will be replaced by centrist leader Yari Lapid, the chief architect of the new government, reported Al Jazeera. The Bennett-led alliance comes across as an unnatural coalition of left-wing, centrist and right-wing parties, as well as a party that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel. In fact, the new Prime Minister Bennett’s Yamina Party has only six members in the House.
Earlier, Bennett presented his new government’s ministers in a speech constantly interrupted by supporters of 71-year-old Netanyahu.
“At the decisive moment we took responsibility,” he said, according to PTI. “The alternative to this government was more elections, more hate, which would have broken up the country. “It is time for responsible leaders from different parts of the nation to stop this madness.”
Netanyahu’s supporters constantly heckled him during the speech, calling him a “criminal” and “liar”. The former prime minister, in his speech said, “If we are destined to go into Opposition, we will do so with our heads held high, until we can topple it.”