Israeli president begins consultation in search for new government

Jerusalem, May 5 (EFE).- Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday held talks with the representatives of political parties on forming a government after caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to do so following inconclusive elections in March.

A total of 13 parties are to present their decision on who is best positioned to form a government later on the day.

The head of state also invited leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party in the Knesset, Yair Lapid, who requested a new mandate to try and form a government within 28 days, which can be extended by 14 days.

Lapid received 45 recommendations in the first round of talks, behind Netanyahu (52), whose deadline to form a governing coalition expired Tuesday.

Rivlin also held consultations with Naftali Bennett of the ultra-nationalist Yamina party.

There are 120 seats in the Knesset, which means 61 are needed for a majority.

Netanyahu has been in office for 12 years and is the longest-serving head of government in Israel’s history.

The Israeli president has until Friday to designate a new candidate or transfer the mandate to the Knesset so that lawmakers can try to form the government.

March elections mark the fourth time the country has gone to the polls in the last two years.


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