In latest trouble for Bennett, Israeli lawmaker says won’t vote with coalition

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Israeli lawmaker Michael Biton announced Wednesday that he will no longer vote with the governing coalition, except in no-confidence votes, until he reaches an agreement with Transport Minister Merav Michaeli on public transport reform.

Biton, a member of the Blue and White Party, also said he is freezing the activities of the Knesset Economics Committee, which he heads.

The move functions as yet another blow to Israel’s wobbly coalition, which, with 60 seats, does not have a majority. However, Biton said he will not vote in favor of overthrowing the government, nor will he resign. If he does not vote with the coalition, however, Bennett’s government will need to enlist the support of opposition members to pass legislation.

According to Biton, the Transportation Ministry’s public transport reform is harming the areas outside Israel’s major cities. On Tuesday, Biton received a response from Michaeli on the matter, which he claims did not adequately address his demands.

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A source close to Biton added that he was supposed to hold a mediation meeting with Michaeli on Wednesday, along with cabinet secretary Shalom Shlomo, but Biton decided to cancel it because he believes it unnecessary.

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