Former military chief Benny Gantz got an official mandate on Wednesday to endeavor the difficult job of framing Israel’s next government after Benjamin Netanyahu failed to achieve that.
Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party, was given 28 days to assemble and form a government by President Reuven Rivlin in a televised service.
Failure could lead to Israel’s third polling within this year after the indecisive election in April and September.
Netanyahu had the chance to shape a government in the wake of amassing an enormous conservative coalition yet reported for the current week that he failed to form a majority of 61-seat.
It’s the first time over ten years that other than Israel’s longest-serving prime minister Netanyahu, someone else is having a chance to form a government.
Gantz, 60, has so far rejected Netanyahu’s proposal to Blue and White Party to join Likud in a “national unity” government, stating that Netanyahu has three corruption cases, which the former PM denies.
Gantz, who commanded Israel’s military from 2011 to 2015, has the support of 54 officials. He is short of seven parliamentary majorities, which neither he nor Netanyahu could oversee in April’s and last months’ ballot.
His relaxed campaign was in clear contrast to Netanyahu’s, which was set apart by declarations about a speculated Iranian nuclear site and planned to annex large portions of the West Bank.
Netanyahu and Gantz, both are in support of a national unity government, The National reported.
Together, Likud and Blue and White control a strong 65-seat lion’s share. However, the two leaders are divided over who should head the new administration.
Netanyahu has demanded he lead the legislature, at least for the initial two years, and that it incorporates his conservative partners, which is repeatedly rejected by Gantz.
Netanyahu is probably going to be indicted on corruption allegations in the coming weeks, and Gantz has stated he should resolve his legal matters before joining the office.
However, Blue and White party has planned and requested Likud mediators to hold a meeting on Thursday.
Gantz might leave the right-wing alliance and enroll some smaller parties to his coalition; however, that may be viewed as major disloyalty by those parties’ voters.
As indicated by the National reports, another alternative could be to form a minority government with Avigdor Lieberman. He had emerged as a kingmaker after his party, won eight seats, and he rejected to support either nominee.
Gantz may have the option to persuade the Arab Joint List, which won 13 seats, to help the alliance from the outside.
Mediators from Blue and White and Likud Party expected to meet again on Thursday. In an announcement, Likud rehashed it requires a broad union government.
Netanyahu remains an overseer head until the new legislature is formed.
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