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Israel’s top court: Netanyahu can form cabinet regardless of charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Mona Kandil 
Press TV, Ramallah

Israeli caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is finally about to swear in his fifth cabinet after 16 months of nonstop election campaigns and futile coalition horse-trading.

Late Wednesday, Israel's supreme court decided Netanyahu's indictment on corruption charges does not disqualify him from forming the next coalition cabinet. Observers say this simply means the veteran Israeli leader would remain in power.

The court also found that Netanyahu's coalition cabinet deal with his election rival Benny Gantz does not violate the law.

Immediately then, Netanyahu's Likud party and Gantz's Blue and White issued a statement, saying they would hold a swearing-in ceremony for their coalition cabinet on the thirteenth of May. Netenyahu-Gantz alliance was formed last month after three inconclusive elections held in Israel in less than a year.

Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for 18 months, with Gantz as his alternate. Both men will swap roles midway through their deal, with cabinet positions divided between the Likud party and Blue and White, along with their respective allies.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is now expected to task Netanyahu with putting together a coalition. This decision, experts say, proves that Netanyahu has always found a route to remain in power.

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