Israeli Horse-trading on Coalition Government Starts

Published March 30th, 2021 - 06:04 GMT
Coalition government talks start in Israel after political deadlock.
Electoral workers count ballots in Israel's general elections in Jerusalem on March 25, 2021. As the count continues in Israel's March 23 general elections, parties engage in intense horse-trading spelling more uncertainty ahead as the final results which are expected in the coming 24 hours. Emmanuel DUNAND / AFP
Rivlin said Monday he will start talks with political parties next week to determine who he will choose to form a coalition government.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Monday he will begin talks with political parties elected to the Knesset in hopes a coalition government can be formed after last week's elections found no clear winner.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party conservative coalition fell short of a majority. Opposition against him has appeared to harden among other parties, which could make negotiations rockier than usual. Rivlin said he will talk to all parties starting next Monday before deciding who he will choose to build a coalition government.

Failure could lead to yet another national election. In 2020, Netanyahu and his main political rival Benny Gantz both failed to form a governing coalition in the 120-seat Knesset. Gantz agreed to form a unity government last year alongside Netanyahu, angering his Blue and White coalition which essentially abandoned the former Israeli military leader.'

Now, Gantz said he was wrong to form the coalition and is calling on other minority parties to band together to force Netanyahu out of office.

"While tens of thousands of businesses collapsed and the population suffered under the strains and restrictions of the pandemic, [Netanyahu continued] to incite and divide, simply because it serves his personal interests, and to allow him to escape the courthouse," Gantz said, according to the Times of Israel. "He deceived me, he deceived you, he deceived one too many times. Now he must pay."

Netanyahu faces charges for bribery, fraud and breach of trust while in office, which he entered not guilty pleas to last months. He has repeated last for delays in the case after failing to get the charges dismissed.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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