Israel's Arab party support pushes Gantz ahead of Netanyahu
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Arab-dominated Joint List party moved on Sunday to back the centre-left bloc of Benny Gantz, who is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing alliance, to form a new government. With final results all but in, neither Gantz nor Netanyahu command a majority in parliament, so the Arab List's decision to end its usual policy of withholding support for any candidate in the wake of elections could nudge President Reuven Rivlin to ask Gantz to form a government
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Arab-dominated Joint List party moved on Sunday to back the centre-left bloc of Benny Gantz, who is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing alliance, to form a new government.
With final results all but in, neither Gantz nor Netanyahu command a majority in parliament, so the Arab List's decision to end its usual policy of withholding support for any candidate in the wake of elections could nudge President Reuven Rivlin to ask Gantz to form a government.
Rivlin, who began consulting with party leaders on Sunday to discuss who should lead the country after no clear victor emerged from Tuesday's election, suggested Gantz and Netanyahu join forces, though it is uncertain who would be the senior partner.
Netanyahu's right-wing Likud failed, for the second time in five months, to secure a clear election victory. The centrist Blue and White party led by ex-armed forces chief Gantz has a slight lead with nearly all votes counted.
No party drawn from the 21% Arab minority has ever been part of an Israeli government. But an increased turnout saw the Joint List win 13 seats, making it the third largest grouping.
This would provide an outlet to voice Arab complaints of discrimination in Israeli society and give a bigger platform to Arab parties which differ markedly with those drawn from the country's Jewish majority on many political issues.
"We want to bring an end to the era of Netanyahu, so we recommend that Benny Gantz be the one to form the next government," party head Ayman Odeh told Rivlin on Sunday as part of consultations to form a new government coalition.
Joint List's support does not mean it will sit in the governing coalition, but its backing gives Gantz's centre-left bloc 57 seats, compared to Netanyahu's right-wing bloc of 55.
Netanyahu denounced the Arab party support of Gantz. He said it meant only two choices -- "a minority government that leans on those that reject Israel as a Jewish, democratic state," or a "broad national government".
Gantz has so far rebuffed Netanyahu's calls to join a unity government.
Near-final results show Blue and White will be the largest single party in the new parliament with 33 of the 120 seats, while Likud has won 31 seats, three less than it had before.
In a meeting with Likud party leaders on Sunday, Rivlin said it was up to the "two biggest parties, the first and second that are almost equal in size, to join forces ... so that you together manage and establish a system that brings a stable government."
"This is what the people want. None of us can ignore that," he said.
The president's role is largely ceremonial, but it includes consulting with factions and choosing which party leader has the best chance at forming a coalition.
There were only narrow differences in the two main parties' campaigns on many important issues during the campaign. An end to the Netanyahu era would be unlikely to bring significant changes in policy on relations with the United States, the regional struggle against Iran, or the Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu and Gantz are now seeking other potential coalition allies, prominent among whom is the far-right former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman. He secured eight seats for his Yisrael Beitenu party, making him a potential kingmaker.
Lieberman on Sunday reiterated his call for a unity government and said he would not recommend either candidate in his meeting with Rivlin.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; editing by James Drummond and David Evans)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Arunima Kumar (Reuters) - Aurora Cannabis on Tuesday announced a new round of staff reductions and plans to shut five facilities over the next two quarters, as the COVID-19 pandemic pummels the cash-crunched cannabis industry. For most marijuana companies in Canada, which legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, profits have proven elusive due to fewer-than-expected retail stores, cheaper rates on the black market and slow overseas growth. The industry has been further hit by the COVID-19 crisis, which has also upended financial markets, making it harder to get investor dollars
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has imposed an anti-dumping duty on flat rolled steel products that are plated or coated with alloy of aluminium and zinc originating in, or from China, Vietnam and South Korea, according to a government order https://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/customs/cs-act/notifications/notfns-2020/cs-add2020/csadd16-2020.pdf issued on Tuesday. The duty will be in the range of $13.07-$173.10 per tonne for 5 years, according to the statement
By Diptendu Lahiri (Reuters) - Gold prices surged to their highest since October 2012 on Tuesday, driven by a weakness in the U.S. dollar and widespread monetary stimulus packages by central banks as a jump in coronavirus cases dents the economic outlook