Lapid Poised To Take Reins as Israeli PM After Knesset Sets Election Date, Dissolves
At midnight between Thursday and Friday, Yair Lapid will become the prime minister of Israel. Lapid, the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, will be the 14th person to hold that position over the last 74 years.
This follows a 92-0 vote in the Knesset Thursday morning to dissolve itself, which sends the country back to the polls for the fifth time in three and a half years. November 1 has been set as the date of the upcoming election.
Lapid and outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett have already held a handover ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, attended by senior officials from their bureaus and members of the Bennett and Lapid families.
The incoming prime minister, a published author and poet, former journalist and TV presenter, and amateur boxer, currently serves as alternate prime minister and foreign minister in Bennett’s center-right-left coalition.
Bennett announced on Wednesday night that he would not run for office in the upcoming parliamentary election. His government, whose largest component is Lapid’s Yesh Atid, lost its majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, only a year after taking office.
Israel’s incoming leader shouldn’t get too comfortable in the Prime Minister’s Office. As the caretaker of an interim government, his powers will be limited, and he only serves until the election is held and a new government can be put together. But it’s always advantageous to run for prime minister as prime minister. Lapid will have four months to show off his talents before asking voters, and maybe more importantly, potential coalition partners, to renew his contract as head of government.