Rivlin has announced MK Benny Gantz will now get the chance to become Israel’s next prime minister.
This move comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has informed President Reuven Rivlin that he has failed in forming a new Israeli governing coalition.
Gantz told reporters on Tuesday that “the feeling is terrific.”
In both elections, Netanyahu’s Likud party and Blue and White, headed by Gantz, finished neck and neck. They finished dead even at 35 seats apiece, in the 120-member parliament, in April’s ballot. In September, Blue and White edged out Likud, 33-32.
Because of the deadlock, efforts have concentrated on forming a national unity coalition that would include both Likud and Blue and White.
In a statement on Monday in response to Netanyahu’s admission of failure, Blue and White said it was “determined to form the liberal unity government, headed by Gantz, that the nation elected a month ago.”
In his announcement, Netanyahu accused Gantz of “refusing time after time” to cooperate with the incumbent premier’s efforts to form a unity government.
The prime minister has repeatedly stated that Blue and White needed to work in tandem with him in order to grapple with various diplomatic and security challenges facing the Jewish State.
Gantz will now have 28 days to try to form a governing coalition, and the president could give him an extension if the challenger asks for more time.