In broadcast remarks on Tuesday, president says Likud leader “now has a majority of Knesset members” behind him.
Last modified: 2019-04-17 10:48
President Reuven Rivlin | Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon
President Reuven Rivlin announced on Tuesday that a majority of MKs had advised him to have Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form a government after the April 9 election, effectively ensuring his nomination.
In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term despite an announcement by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in February that he might charge the prime minister in three corruption cases. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing.
President Reuven Rivlin chooses a party leader whom he judges has the best prospect of putting together a ruling coalition. He was set to announce his candidate on Wednesday.
In broadcast remarks on Tuesday, the second day of Rivlin’s consultations with political parties on their preferences for prime minister, he said Netanyahu “now has a majority of Knesset members” behind him.
“Any room I had for maneuver has effectively been removed at this moment,” he added.
Netanyahu’s nomination has been a foregone conclusion since right-wing and religious parties allied with Netanyahu’s Likud captured the largest number of seats in the Knesset in last week’s ballot and his closest rival, leader of the Blue and White center-left bloc Benny Gantz, conceded defeat.
Netanyahu has said he intends to build a coalition with five far-right, right-wing and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that would give the Likud-led government 65 seats, four more than his outgoing administration.
Representatives of all of those parties told Rivlin at the meetings, broadcast live on the internet, that they recommended Netanyahu.
Gantz, a former military chief of staff whose list won 35 parliamentary seats, would likely be next in line to try to assemble a government if Netanyahu fails to do so within 42 days of being chosen by Rivlin.
Likud, like Gantz’s party, secured 35 Knesset seats, up from 30 it had won in the previous election in 2015.
Netanyahu is under no legal obligation to resign if indicted. He can still argue, at a pre-trial hearing whose date has not been set, against the formal filing of bribery and fraud charges against him.
Content retrieved from: https://www.israelhayom.com/2019/04/16/rivlin-set-to-formally-ask-netanyahu-to-form-government/.