Netanyahu, Gantz discuss formation of government

March 16, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Member of Knesset (MK) Benny Gantz met on Sunday evening at the Presidents’ Residence in Jerusalem to discuss the formation of a government after 61 MKs recommend that Gantz be the first to attempt to form a coalition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Benny Gantz  Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin, who convened the meeting and essentially forced the two to meet, emphasized that they should continue and intensify direct contacts between them and between the Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams, and welcomed both sides’ willingness to do so.

At the end of the meeting, which laster for about an hour and a half, the two sides agreed that the negotiating teams of the two parties will continue the discussions.

The two largest parties, Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White, have stated they are willing to establish an emergency government to head off the spread of Coronavirus.

Rivlin will assign Gantz with the task of forming Israel’s next government after he received the support of 61 MKs during Sunday’s consultations. He has 28 days, and a possible additional 14, to form a government.

58 MKs had recommended Netanyahu. One MK, Orly Levi-Abakesis, chose not to give a recommendation.

Gantz received the support of the 15 MKs of the Arab-majority Joint List but will not attempt to invite them to his government at this time.

The 23rd Knesset will open later Monday with a festive swearing ceremony that will be held within the constraints of the Ministry of Health’s directive to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

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