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."
With 90% of the votes counted in Israel’s fourth election in two years, no party has yet won enough support to form a coalition government with a majority in Parliament. The prospect of another stalemate has prompted debate over the political system.https://t.co/w8r5upwWZ4— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 24, 2021
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.
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