Rivlin Rebuffs Opposition Maneuver

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu listening to President Reuven Rivlin during a recent gathering. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin rebuffed on Tuesday opposition urging that he give another party leader a chance to form a government rather than go to an unprecedented electoral rerun.

“Until midnight tomorrow, the mandate for forming the government is in the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,” a statement from President Rivlin’s office said. “The president will allow him to exhaust the time granted him by law while hoping that we won’t, Heaven forbid, be caught up in another election campaign.

“The Knesset has the authority, according to the language of that very same law, to decide to dissolve,” the statement continued. “In light of that, the Knesset and its members, as the representative of the sovereign, that is the people, will bear the future ramifications of its decision.”

Earlier in the day, Labor Party MK Shelly Yachimovich wrote to Rivlin, asking him to intervene to avert another round of elections.

“This is a precedent-setting event in the history of the state, which has never happened before, and it imposes on the entire country governmental chaos, paralyzing all systems,” Yachimovich wrote to Rivlin, as quoted by The Times of Israel.

Yachimovich added that she had consulted with MKs from a broad range of parties and none of them want elections.

“I appeal to you to call on Knesset members to reconsider their vote in the [dissolution] law, and to exercise the powers you have in order to save the state from this destructive scenario, and to task another MK to try to form the government,” she wrote.

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