Published: Tue, October 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Israel’s Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition

Israel’s Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed Israel's president Monday he could not form a new government following deadlocked September elections, making way for his opponent Benny Gantz to try.

The deliberations come as Netanyahu announced Monday he had returned the mandate to form a government after being unable to do so during 26 days of negotiations following inconclusive elections last month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and then-cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit at a weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, in Jerusalem on February 2, 2014.

Gantz also has no clear path to a majority, and should he come up short, it would nearly certainly lead to another general election - Israel's third since April. Israeli Arab lawmakers pledged their backing, but Mr Gantz remained more than a dozen of seats short of a governing majority.

Gantz's Blue and White party was the largest to emerge from the 17 September ballot, though he also has no clear path to a parliamentary majority.

"Since I received the mandate, I have worked tirelessly both in public and behind the scenes to establish a broad, national unity government".

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The president said he now intends to task Gantz with the job of putting together a new government.

"Regrettably, Likud is sticking to its precondition of Netanyahu first", Blue and White said in a statement, cited by The Post.

But Gantz has repeatedly said he can not negotiate based on the terms Netanyahu wants.

Giving Mr Gantz the opportunity to try to form a government does not necessarily mean the end of Netanyahu's political career, according to the Guardian UK analysis.

Netanyahu, who has been in power for the past decade and 13 years in total, has seen his political strength wane as he faces a looming indictment on corruption allegations that he denies.

He also has hinted at reviving the peace process with the Palestinians. If he fails, Israel could be forced into the unprecedented scenario of a third election in less than a year.

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