Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Wednesday evening to the members of his Yamina party that he does not intend to run in the next election.
Bennett will remain in the government after the Knesset dissolves and serve as alternate prime minister and assist Yair Lapid with the Iran issue until the formation of a new government.
As YWN reported, Bennett spent large sums of money in recent days carrying out surveys of his electorate but ultimately realized that it is likely that Yamina would not pass the electoral threshold.
Ayelet Shaked will take over as leader of Yamina and Matan Kahana is expected to leave the party as he disagrees with Shaked over serving in “a completely right-wing government” under Netanyahu.
UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni responded to the announcement by stating: “Hakadosh Baruch Hus runs the world. One can’t lie and deceive the entire country. His party died a ‘misah meshunah.'”
Religious Zionist party chairman Betzalel Smotrich said: “Bennett’s decision to resign from politics isn’t his decision but that of the public who is disgusted by him and spit him out.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)