Netanyahu is Unlikely to Form The Next Israeli Govt

Published September 29th, 2019 - 09:38 GMT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP/ File Photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP/ File Photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may return his mandate to form a government to President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday, sources from the Likud party said late on Saturday.

The premier is likely to announce that he is giving up efforts to form a government if the Blue and White negotiation team maintain their refusal to a co-ruling plan proposed by Rivlin, Likud sources told Israeli daily Haaretz.

Netanyahu launched into what has proved to be an impossible mission to form a new government on Thursday, after the president tasked him with doing so following deadlocked elections.

"The Likud negotiating team has been instructed by the prime minister to make every possible effort to advance a broad unity government according to the president's framework at the negotiation meeting with Blue and White on [Sunday]," a Likud statement said.

"But if Blue and White is unwilling to accept the framework presented by the president (a rotation between Netanyahu and Gantz and an equitable government) nor offer any other realistic framework, there's no point in wasting time and dragging the state into continued paralysis."

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However, Netanyahu's attempts have proven futile as he faced potential corruption charges pending a hearing scheduled for October 2-3. 

When accepting the mandate, Netanyahu called on his main opponent Benny Gantz to join him in a unity government, but his challenger dismissed the premier's negotiating tactics so far as unserious.

Gantz says he should be prime minister under a unity government since his centrist Blue and White party finished as the largest, while also insisting he will not serve in a government with a premier facing a serious indictment.

Blue and White has sought to convince members of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud to replace him as leader and form a unity government together, but there is no sign for now of that happening. 

The situation has led Netanyahu's critics to accuse him of effectively holding the country hostage, arguing that a unity coalition would be possible if he would step down.

If the mandate is returned, Rivlin may hold additional consultations but would formally task Gantz with forming a government by Thursday, the day when the new Knesset will be sworn in.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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