The Israeli regime is poised to install a new government led by someone other than the former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in more than 12 years, breaking a two-year electoral deadlock and marking a likely shift toward the political center and ending - for now - the reign of the regime's longest-serving prime minister.

Iran PressMiddle East: A scheduled parliamentary vote is expected to give a bare majority to an unlikely coalition of parties from the right, center and left of Israel’s spectrum. Former defense minister Naftali Bennett, an Orthodox leader of the regime’s religious-nationalist movement, and a former Netanyahu ally will be the next prime minister.

Bennett will be replaced in the top job after two years by Yair Lapid, a centrist politician and former TV news anchor who clinched the second largest number of votes after Netanyahu’s Likud party last March.

Lapid brokered the power-sharing deal among eight parties with little in common other than wanting to end the contentious rule of Netanyahu, who has clung to power despite being on trial for corruption and failing to secure a majority after four inconclusive elections in two years.

Meanwhile, ultra-Orthodox parties will not be part of the government for the first time, with two brief exceptions, since 1977.

Though Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most votes in each round, his usual coalition of ultra-Orthodox and nationalist parties failed to find 61 parliamentary seats needed to form a government. Netanyahu has remained atop of a caretaker government that has been largely paralyzed since the end of 2018. Even a short-lived emergency unity government that formed last year in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic failed to pass a budget.

As the government remained effectively frozen, Netanyahu was indicted and began a trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust that has further divided an acutely polarized Israel.

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