What does Arye Deri’s possible indictment mean for the coalition?

The political impact of the police’s recommendation to charge Interior Minister Arye Deri with fraud and breach of trust depends on two things: How long the coalition will last, and how long it will take Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to decide whether or not to indict Deri.

So far, Mandelblit has taken several months to make decisions on indictments of major political figures, and there is no reason to think Deri will be different.

Meanwhile, the new, slimmer 61-seat coalition is showing signs of wear and tear after just one day in the Knesset. On Monday, it lost a vote in the plenum and then pulled most bills off of the agenda. On Tuesday, it started a game of chicken with Yisrael Beytenu over the death penalty bill the former coalition party wants to pass. These are not the signs of a coalition that has a lot of time left. This is a coalition whose days are numbered.

In all likelihood, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s victorious declaration that the coalition will last another year, it will collapse long before November 2019, and before Mandelblit decides what to do with Deri’s case.  Continue reading

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