JERUSALEM, March 26 (Reuters) - Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz was elected on Thursday as speaker of parliament in a surprise move that appeared to herald a political partnership that could keep Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power.
With the partial backing of the centrist former general Gantz’s Blue and White party and the support of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, Gantz was elected with 74 votes in the 120-member Knesset. It could pave the way for a “rotation deal” in which Netanyahu and Gantz would take turns as prime minister. Talks to form a unity government were in progress between both parties after a March 2 inconclusive election and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (Reporting by Stephen Farrell)