Last night, Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, officially tasked Blue and White Leader, Benny Gantz, with forming the country’s next government. This marks the first time in more than a decade that someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu will attempt to form a government in Israel.
The order comes after Prime Minister Netanyahu returned the mandate to President Rivlin on Monday, confirming he was unable to form a majority coalition following two successive attempts in both elections this year. Gantz now has 28 days to form a coalition government by securing 61 seats in the Knesset.
While accepting the mandate at the President’s residence in Jerusalem, Gantz vowed to build a “liberal unity government” and said he would invite all parties starting with Netanyahu and his Likud party for talks on its goals.
If Gantz is unsuccessful in the allocated time, Knesset members will have 21 days to advise Rivlin of their support for another candidate to form a government. If this candidate is unable to form a majority, Israel will have an unprecedented third election in a year in March 2020.
In last month’s election, Netanyahu fell short of securing a 61-seat parliamentary majority, but Rivlin gave him the first opportunity to form a coalition as Likud had more support (55 seats) than Blue and White (54 seats).