Gantz Returns Mandate to Form Government. Now It’s On to the Knesset

Israel

Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz at the Knesset, September 9, 2019.

On Wednesday evening, Blue and White party chairperson Benny Gantz returned the mandate to form a new Israeli government to President Reuven Rivlin, acknowledging that he had failed to build a majority coalition.

Israeli Elections 3.0 in the Wings?

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The Blue and White party said earlier Wednesday it was not prepared to accept the eventuality of incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serving once again in that position, regardless of when in a rotation it might come up, according to Likud negotiator MK Ze’ev Elkin, who was interviewed by Israel’s Kann public broadcasting network.

In a speech he delivered after returning the mandate to the president, Gantz accused Netanyahu of “running a hate and incitement campaign aimed at justifying the entrenchment of a governing rule against the will of the voter.”

Netanyahu, who currently presides over a caretaker government, also failed to form a government, although he managed to gather 55 seats over the 44 garnered by Gantz.

The mandate now goes to the Knesset plenum for a 21-day period to provide an opportunity for lawmakers to attempt – individually – to form a coalition on their own.

Failing that last-gasp effort, Israel will move to an unprecedented third round of elections.

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