Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday officially tasked opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the country’s next governing coalition.

In accordance with Israel’s Basic Law: The Government, Netanyahu will now have four weeks, with the possibility of a 14-day extension, to earn the formal support of at least 61 lawmakers to pass a confidence vote in the parliament.

On Friday, Herzog wrapped up three days of consultations with representatives of all political parties that entered the 25th Knesset.

On Thursday, the Religious Zionism, United Torah Judaism, Oztma Yehudit and Noam parties all recommended that Netanyahu be tasked with forming a coalition. The previous day, the other two parties that makeup Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc, Shas and his Likud Party, also recommended that he be given the opportunity to form a government.

The factions won a combined 64 seats in the 120-member Knesset in the Nov. 1 national elections.

After five elections in rapid succession beginning in April 2019, the Israeli public has given Netanyahu a resounding mandate to helm a stable, right-religious coalition.

Already Israel’s longest-serving premier, Netanyahu is primed to return to the Prime Minister’s Office for an unprecedented third round of leadership, after holding the post from 1996-1999 and 2009-2021.

JNS

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