Israeli President Reuven Rivlin began post-election consultations this morning, with political parties that will lead to his appointment of a candidate to form Jerusalem’s next government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nomination seems virtually ensured after his right-wing Likud won the largest number of parliamentary seats in the April 9th ballot. “We came to recommend to you that prime minister Netanyahu will be the one who will form the next government. Prime minister Netanyahu received the confidence of the public, personally, as well as the Likud as the largest party of course,” Israeli Culture and Sports Minister (Likud Party), Miri Regev said.
Representing the Blue and White party was former IDF chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, who recommended to the President his party chairman, former IDF Chief Benny Gantz. The President took the opportunity to urge the Blue and White faction to consider a possible national-unity coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud – a suggestion immediately rejected. “If you will be offered, without preconditions to join a government not formed by the man you have recommended, for the benefit of the entire Israeli system, with all its groups and parts, there are many parts, and the contrasts between them are sometimes very acute, contrasts that we must live with. That being said, we have to cope with them. If you will be offered such a possibility, without preconditions, will you consider it?” /// “I think that under these circumstances, in this reality, I think we will not be able to be a part of such a government. We can of course be considered by everyone as partners to anything that serves the entire population of Israel,” Former IDF Chief of Staff – Blue and White party Gabi Ashkenazi said.
The president, Reuven Rivlin, said he would announce his choice on Wednesday after meeting with all of the parties that captured seats in the 120-member Knesset. Under Israeli law, after consultations with the parties, the president will grant a legislator whom he believes has the best chance of forming a government, delegating 28 days to complete the task.