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Netanyahu Renews Call for Challenger Gantz to Join Him in Israel Unity Govt after President’s Decision

PM Netanyahu made the comments to journalists after accepting President Reuven Rivlin's mandate to try to form a government following last week's deadlocked elections.

AFP

Updated:September 26, 2019, 7:35 AM IST
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Netanyahu Renews Call for Challenger Gantz to Join Him in Israel Unity Govt after President’s Decision
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (right) shakes hands with PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Wednesday. (PTI)

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his call on Wednesday for his challenger Benny Gantz to join him in a unity coalition after the country's president tasked him with forming a new government.

Netanyahu made the comments to journalists after accepting President Reuven Rivlin's mandate to try to form a government following last week's deadlocked elections. But the two sides appear far apart, including on who should lead a unity government.

Netanyahu's call after Rivlin tasked him with forming a new government after last week's deadlocked elections, the president's office declared. The announcement followed a joint meeting between Rivlin, Netanyahu and Gantz.

Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government, with a possible two-week extension. If all attempts fail, Rivlin can then assign the task to someone else.

Rivlin has been urging Netanyahu and Gantz to form a unity government, but a compromise appears a long way off.

The final results from the September 17 elections gave Gantz's centrist Blue and White 33 seats, ahead of Likud's 32 out of parliament's 120. Neither has a clear path to a majority coalition.

Netanyahu received the endorsement of 55 members of parliament for the post of prime minister after the election, while Gantz received 54.

Rivlin earlier on Wednesday received the official election results and encouraged both Gantz and Netanyahu to form a unity government.

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