Six parties told President Rivlin that they recommend Netanyahu should lead the next government, giving the incumbent Prime Minister a majority of 65 Knesset members.
Netanyahu will be serving as Prime Minister for an unprecedented fifth term. With a plea to Netanyahu to soothe social divides after a combative election campaign, President Rivlin said: “Us versus them is over, and now it’s just us”.
Principle challenger, centrist Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, won 35 Knesset seats, and has vowed to battle Netanyahu from the opposition.
Netanyahu is likely to form a government comprised of the Likud’s 35 seats, Shas’s 8 seats (ultra-Orthodox), United Torah Judaism’s 8 (ultra-Orthodox), Right Wing Union’s 5 seats (far-right), Kulanu’s 4 seats (centre-right) and Yisrael Beitenu’s 5 seats (centre-right).
Although Netanyahu’s Likud party tied with Blue and White at 35 seats, the Prime Minister is the only one with enough potential partners to form a coalition.
Following President Rivlin’s selection on Wednesday, Netanyahu has 28 days to form a government, with the possibility of a two-week extension at the discretion of the president.