Following his victory in April 9 elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on Tuesday sworn into Israel's new parliament. He will soon seek to form a governing coalition. It is to be noted that Netanyahu was among the 120 members of the Knesset, or parliament, sworn in during an official ceremony.
Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud managed to win 35 seats in the election, the same as his main opponents from the centrist Blue and White alliance led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. However, support from smaller right-wing parties allied to Likud led to a majority of 65 parliament members supporting Netanyahu to continue on as Prime Minister.
Netanyahu said, "Today we are overcome by the spirit of unity of the people we represent, the people who have decided in democratic elections and have imposed on us all the important mission to act on its behalf and for its sake."
"We have worked overtime in the service of delegitimization, hatred and execration. Now, it’s over. Enough. Time to rise up, to put down the cudgels of elections and clean up the mess,” he added.
Israel President Reuven Rivlin called upon members to set aside political differences raised in the contentious election season that saw a lot of name-calling and criminal accusations of corruption as well as sexual harassment.
"We have worked overtime in the service of delegitimization, hatred and execration. Now, it’s over. Enough. Time to rise up, to put down the cudgels of elections and clean up the mess,” he said. The Israeli President also demanded that both the opposition and the ruling majority lay down their guards and unite in order to serve the Israeli public.
Importantly, Netanyahu earned a fresh mandate and a record fifth term as prime minister in the April 9 ballot, putting him on track to surpass Israel’s founding father as the country’s longest-serving leader. But Netanyahu also faces the prospect of becoming the first sitting prime minister to be indicted.
The attorney general has announced he intends to indict him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending a hearing. He is not required to resign if indicted, only if convicted with all appeals exhausted.