Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form coalition government before Tuesday deadline


Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form coalition government before Tuesday deadline

But Mr Rivlin may instead choose to task Mr Lapid, the Yesh Atid party leader, with building his own government, one that would need to unite the political spectrum to succeed.

Mr Rivlin has three days to decide on how to proceed. 

In the March 23 election, Likud emerged as the largest single party with 30 seats in the 120-member parliament. 

But to form a government, Mr Netanyahu needs to have the support of a 61-seat majority.

That task has been complicated in large part by members of his own religious and nationalist base.

The New Hope party, led by a former aide of Mr Netanyahu, refuses to serve under the prime minister because of deep personal differences. 

Religious Zionism, a far-right party, supports Mr Netanyahu but has ruled out serving in a government with the Arab partners he has courted, such as the Ra’am party. 

On Monday, Mr Netanyahu said he had offered the head of Yamina, Mr Bennett, the chance to share the job of prime minister in a rotation government with Mr Bennett holding the post for the first year.

But Mr Bennett responded: “I never asked Netanyahu to be prime minister. I asked to form a government. Unfortunately, he does not have that.”

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