Gantz’s time is up, Netanyahu will be tasked with forming government

April 13, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s mandate to form a government will end on Monday night and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be tasked with forming a government, possibly sending Israel towards the fourth round of elections in a bit more than a year’s time.

Blue and White Party chairman Benny Gantz attends a faction meeting in Tel Aviv on Dec. 12, 2019. Photo by Flash90

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday informed Gantz that “in the current circumstances” no extension would be possible to the period allocated to him for forming a government.

Rivlin spoke to Netanyahu who did not confirm that the parties are close to signing an agreement that would lead to a unity government.

Both parties have been in negotiations in the past weeks but have seemingly met an impasse on several cardinal issues, including the possible annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria and the reshaping of the character of the judicial system, which is considered very left-wing and, at times, not Zionist enough, by the right.

The task of forming the government will return on Tuesday to the Knesset and a period of 21 days will begin during which Knesset Members (MK) can form a majority to recommend an agreed candidate to form a government, who would have 14 days to do so.

Netanyahu is currently two members short of forming a government of 61 MKs.

He may gain the support of two Labor MKs or two members of Gantz’s Blue and White party, Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel.

If no government is formed, Israel will head to the ballots on July 28, for the fourth time in a bit over a year’s time.

With the left shattered and with significant hostility between the various left-wing factions, and after the dismantling of the partnerships within Blue and White and between Labor and Meretz, the right appears to have better chances and forming a government.

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