(September 25, 2019 / JNS) A week after the Israeli election, failed talks to form a unity government led President Reuven Rivlin to ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to form a coalition.
Netanyahu, who leads the Likud Party, will have 28 days to form a new government. He currently has 55 members of the Knesset backing him, six short of the minimum threshold.
The incumbent got the mandate following broken down negotiations between him, and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, to form a unity government that reportedly included the possibility of rotating the premiership.
However, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman reiterated on Tuesday that he would not sit with the ultra-Orthodox or religious right-wing parties, or with the Arab parties or left-wing Democratic Union, while Blue and White Party No. 2 Yair Lapid reportedly would not join a government headed by Netanyahu, even if Likud and Blue and White form a unity government.
Netanyahu has said he would bring the ultra-Orthodox parties and the religious-Zionist Yamina Party into any unity government between Likud, and Blue and White.
Israel’s Central Election Committee amended the final election results following an electoral fraud investigation, increasing Likud from 31 to 32 seats, and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) Party from eight to seven.
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