Netanyahu had the first opportunity to concoct a coalition on April 6 after receiving 52 recommendations to 45 from Lapid.
Rivlin, who as president of Israel is tasked with mandating a lawmaker to form a government, can grant Netanyahu an extension after his 28 days ends Tuesday night, hand the mandate over to another lawmaker, or send it to the government. Knesset for a period of 21 days, after which the fifth elections would be called automatically if no one can form a government.
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The president prefers the second option, according to Hebrew media on Monday, and is expected to transfer the government-forming mandate to Lapid, as he received the second highest number of recommendations when Rivlin consulted with party officials after March 23.
President Reuven Rivlin meets with the Yesh Atid party at the president’s residence in Jerusalem on April 5, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)
Rivlin could also offer Bennett the option of forming a government, but reports, citing prominent political sources, said the president was unlikely to go down that route. Even if Netanyahu and a majority of right-wing lawmakers choose to change their recommendations to Rivlin in order to support Bennett, the president should not hand over the mandate to President Yamina, according to reports.
Indeed, the move would be widely seen as an attempt to provide an extension for Netanyahu to form the government after he failed to do so over the past month, politicians told Channel 12 and Ha’aretz. high level who spoke with Rivlin.
In addition, it would override the initial recommendations made by parties following the election, which are not meant to be subject to change.
“There is no reason why the mandate should not revert to Lapid unless Bennett publicly announces that he has no interest in a ‘change’ government,” a senior political source said. in Haaretz, referring to the coalition of anti-Netanyahu parties seeking to oust the Likud leader.
While Bennett insists he prefers to join a right-wing government, he again noted on Monday that Netanyahu did not have the votes to form such a coalition and said Yamina is negotiating with Lapid to form a government of unit as an alternative.
“Rivlin will not lend a hand in a political ploy in which Netanyahu will recommend Bennett, only to preserve a sitting prime minister’s chances of returning Israel to the polls.” If the scenario in which Netanyahu forms a right-wing government were possible, it would have already been formed, ”the source added.
The official told Haaretz that Rivlin was also unlikely to send the case to the Knesset for a ruling, as that would likely doom Israel to a fifth election in just two years.
If the term goes to the Knesset, an absolute majority, of at least 61 of the 120 MPs, would be required to vote in favor of a particular lawmaker to form the next government, and “there is no way that (the Majority- The Arab Joint List and Ra’am parties will sign Bennett’s nominations, ”the source said.
With less than two days for him to form a coalition, Netanyahu said on Monday he was ready to step down as prime minister and let Bennett take the prime minister first in a rotation deal – a proposal immediately rejected by Bennett, who replied that Netanyahu just does not have the votes.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Lapid said he expected Rivlin to task him with forming a government “if nothing surprising happens” before Tuesday evening, but that he would be willing to let it go. Bennett will serve as first prime minister in any rotation agreement between them.
Meanwhile, Channel 13 reported on Monday evening that Lapid had offered Bennett to become Prime Minister as part of their power-sharing deal for a period of 2 years and three months, after which Bennett would be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lapid would assume the post of Prime Minister.
Lapid also promises a senior portfolio for Ayelet Shaked of Yamina (domestic or public security), and two or three additional portfolios for members of the right-wing party to seven MPs, if a government is formed.
Lapid is also ready to give Bennett’s right-wing bloc within a possible unity coalition broad veto powers, the network said.
Netanyahu, on the other hand, proposed that Bennett become prime minister under a rotation deal, but only for one year; a senior portfolio for Shaked; and for Yamina to ultimately be merged with Likud in a future election race.
Although Yamina won just seven seats in the March election, Bennett has become a potential kingmaker and even a king.
The latest elections, the fourth since April 2019, ended in a deadlock, with Netanyahu’s right-wing religious bloc once again falling short of a ruling majority, in part because three right-wing parties ran with it. stated objective to replace it.