Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government coalition after Netanyahu's Likud Party and Benny Gantz's Blue and White party failed to form a unity government in this month's repeat Knesset elections. Gantz is Netanyahu's former military chief of staff.
Likud won 32 Knesset seats, but Blue and White holds 33 out of the 120 seats. However, according to Rivlin, it came down to the number of recommendations from Knesset members. Netanyahu has 55, while Gantz has 54.
"Netanyahu had the best chance to form a government," Rivlin said on Wednesday.
BREAKING: Negotiations between Gantz and Netanyahu on unity government failed. President Rivlin decided to give Netanyahu the mandate to try and form a new government. Netanyahu will have 28 days to try and get 61 members of Knesset to support his government. He has only 55 now— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) September 25, 2019
Some media outlets reminded us that Netanyahu is currently being investigated for corruption. He is accused of fraud, bribery, and a breach of trust in three separate cases.
Breaking News: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be nominated to try to form Israel’s next government, offering him a lifeline as he faces corruption charges.https://t.co/5WWQLY7qb3— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 25, 2019
Netanyahu will learn his fate after his scheduled hearing in October. As Haartez notes, "There is no legal requirement for him to resign as prime minister if he is indicted."
The prime minister will have until October 24 to form a government.