Sunday, 26 Sep 2021 - 20 of Tishri, 5782

Israel’s President Rivlin rejects extension of Gantz mandate to form government

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If Blue and White and Likud do not sign an agreement by Monday midnight, and if the number of recommendations for each candidate does not change, the task of forming the government will return to the Knesset and a period of 21 days will begin during which Knesset Members can form a majority to recommend an agreed candidate to form a government, who would have 14 days to do so.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has informed the leader of Kachol Lavan (Blue and White) party,  Benny Gantz, that in the current circumstances no extension would be possible to the period allocated to him for forming a government, his office announced in a statement.

The period will expire on Monday at midnight.

The president made his decision after also speaking to Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who did not confirm in their conversation that the parties are close to signing an agreement that would lead to a unity government.

If the two do not sign an agreement by Monday midnight, and if the number of recommendations for each candidate does not change, the task of forming the government will return to the Knesset and a period of 21 days will begin during which Knesset Members can form a majority to recommend an agreed candidate to form a government, who would have 14 days to do so.

If, during the remaining initial time given to Gantz to form a government, the circumstances change and the two sides come to the president with a request for an extension in order to help them come to an agreement, the president will reconsider his decision, the presidential office said.

According to Israeli media reports, in his official request, Gantz attributed the delayed negotiations to form a government to the “health and social crisis” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the Passover holiday. Gantz told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that a unity agreement between Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud Party was “close,” and that “with additional time an agreement can be finalized.”

Gantz was given by President Rivlin a mandate to form a government following the  March 2 election, the country’s third in less than a year.

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