Netanyahu fails to form government; Rivlin tasks Yair Lapid with forming coalition

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ran out of time to form a new government and, on Wednesday evening, President Reuven Rivlin asked Yair Lapid, who leads the centrist Yesh Atid party, to try and form a coalition. Yesh Atid gained the second-highest number of seats in the March 23 election, after Netanyahu’s Likud party.

In power since 2009, and currently on trial for corruption, Netanyahu has sought to stay in office through four elections in two years. However, he was not able to form a governing coalition within the 28-day mandate allowed him after the March 23 election: a significant number of potential coalition partners refused to work with Netanyahu while is on trial, Reuters reports.

In a statement about his decision to task Lapid with forming a governing coalition, Rivlin said: “It is clear Member of Knesset Lapid has a chance to form a government that will get support in the Knesset, although there are considerable difficulties.

Acknowledging those difficulties, Lapid said in a statement upon receiving the mandate: “A unity government isn’t a compromise or a last resort — it’s a goal, it’s what we need. We need a government that will reflect the fact that we don’t hate one another. A government in which left, right, and center will work together to tackle the economic and security challenges we face. A government that will show that our differences are a source of strength, not weakness.”

There is “no guarantee” that Lapid and Bennett or others could form a coalition where Netanyahu failed, Reuters notes. A continued gridlock would result in yet another election.

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