Bibi to Form Next Government

Stand for Israel  |  September 25, 2019

TOPSHOT - Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (R) tasks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government, during a press conference in Jerusalem on September 25, 2019. - Israel's president tasked Netanyahu with forming a new government after last week's deadlocked elections, his office announced, the announcement followed a joint meeting between President Reuven Rivlin, Netanyahu and the premier's main challenger Benny Gantz. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

After talks of a “unity government” (Israel’s new government) did not come to pass, Israel’s president has chosen who will have the first crack at forming a governmental coalition. And that person is current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Times of Israel’s Raoul Wootliff reports that, given this responsibility, Netanyahu says that “joint leadership” is needed to face the Jewish state’s current challenges:

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday tasked Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud party leader, with forming Israel’s next government, after efforts to foster talks on a unity coalition between the prime minister and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz failed to bear fruit.

Standing alongside Netanyahu in the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, Rivlin said that though neither the Likud head nor Gantz had the support of a majority of lawmakers, the premier had a better shot at forming a government.

“For me the only question is who has the best possibility to form a coalition. In this situation, 55 MKs supported Netanyahu and 54 supported Gantz. But 10 of those from the Joint List said they would not sit with Gantz, whereas the full bloc of 55 said they would support Netnayhau,” Rivlin said at his official residence, summing up his round of consolations with the various Knesset parties.

“So the chance of the prime minister to form a coalition is higher,” he said…

Speaking after Rivlin, Netanyahu said the only option was a unity coalition with Blue and White, adding that Israel’s new government was a need “now and fast” to address the country’s security, economic and diplomatic challenges.

“All three of those require a broad national government. With a joint leadership,” he said. “We can create a government like that immediately…”

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