(Worthy News) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged with the largest bloc of lawmakers supporting his continuation as premier Sunday following meetings with President Reuven Rivlin, but his position is far from secure.
Netanyahu is now backed by 55 right-wing and ultra-orthodox members of Israel’s Knesset, while Blue and White’s Gantz, whose party gained more seats in the election Tuesday, only has the backing of 54 centrist and left-wing MKs after three of ten members from the Arab Joint List refused to back him.
President’s Residence director Harel Tubi said following the meeting that Rivlin “this time…will use the discussions to float other options, which the public hasn’t heard about,” as neither Gantz nor Netanyahu has the outright majority of 61 MKs to form a ruling coalition.
One option that has been floated is a unity government between Likud and Blue and White in which Netanyahu and Gantz would alternate as Prime Minister, so far the most likely outcome in light of Rivlin’s vow to prevent a third election and the intractability of Avigdor Lieberman.
Ahead of meetings with Gantz and Rivlin Monday, Lieberman promised to use his secular right-wing Yisrael Beytenu’s eight seats, some of which both Netanyahu and Gantz need to become premier, to force a “liberal, nationalist, broad” unity government purged of both ultra-orthodox and Arab elements.