Bibi to Form Next Government

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After talks of a “unity 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 needed a new government “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…”

Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu Elections Israel politics Raoul Wootliff Reuven Rivlin Times of Israel

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