Under Israeli law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has until October 28 to form a government. If he is unable to do so, then Rivlin has the option to either extend Netanyahu’s mandate for two weeks or choose to nominate Blue and White leader Benny Gantz with the task. If Gantz is unable to so within six weeks than Rivlin would have to decide to either tap any Knesset member to try and form a government or call for a third round of elections.
Channel 12 News reported on Friday that Rivlin is not expected to grant Netanyahu an extension.
The Israel Hayom daily quoted an official in Rivlin’s office as confirming the report.
“The assumption is that the mandate will be given to Benny Gantz and no extension will be given to Netanyahu, unless, after the mandate is returned to the president by Netanyahu, another Knesset member will be named by the party leaders during the round of talks that President Rivlin will hold,” Rivlin’s representative said, according to the report.
Last week, MK Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the Israel Beitenu party, announced a plan that would resolve the crisis over the inability to form a new Israeli government.
His proposal calls upon the Likud to drop its demand that it negotiate with Blue and White as a large bloc that also includes its allies.
Lieberman refuses to sit in any coalition that includes the religious parties or the Arab parties.