Netanyahu renews call for challenger Gantz to join him after president Rivlin tasks Israel PM to form new govt

  • Israel's president Reuven Rivlin has tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government after last week's deadlocked elections

  • The announcement followed a joint meeting between Rivlin, Netanyahu and the premier's challenger Benny Gantz

  • Soon after the announcement, Netanyahu renewed his call for Gantz to join him in a unity coalition

  • Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government, with a possible two-week extension; if all attempts fail, Rivlin can then assign the task to someone else

Jerusalem: Israel's president on Wednesday tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government after last week's deadlocked elections, his office announced.

The announcement followed a joint meeting between President Reuven Rivlin, Netanyahu and the premier's challenger Benny Gantz.

 Netanyahu renews call for challenger Gantz to join him after president Rivlin tasks Israel PM to form new govt

File image of Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government, with a possible two-week extension.

If all attempts fail, Rivlin can then assign the task to someone else.

Soon after the announcement, Netanyahu renewed his call for Gantz to join him in a unity coalition.

Netanyahu made the comments to journalists after accepting President Reuven Rivlin's mandate to try to form a government following last week's deadlocked elections.

But the two sides appear far apart, including on who should lead a unity government.

Rivlin has also been urging Netanyahu and Gantz to form a unity government, but a compromise appears a long way off.

Final results from 17 September elections gave Gantz's centrist Blue and White 33 seats, ahead of Likud's 32 out of parliament's 120.

Neither has a clear path to a majority coalition.

Netanyahu received the endorsement of 55 members of parliament for the post of prime minister after the election, while Gantz received 54.

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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2019 00:20:32 IST