Gantz Wants to Impose Condition on Coalition Maker

View of an election campaign billboards showing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz (R), in Yerushalayim . Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz urged President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday night to beware of a repeat of the kind of post-election machinations that led to this second round.

“I call from here to President Rivlin that in order to avoid going to elections for the third time, he must grant the mandate to form a government only to a candidate who promises to return it if and when he would not succeed to build a government,” Gantz said at a campaign event, alluding to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to call for a disbanding of the Knesset and new elections rather than return the mandate to Rivlin to allow Gantz to try to form a coalition back in May.

There is an explicit consensus—declared by Rivlin, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and others—to do everything possible to avoid a third round, and promises that it won’t happen; but this is the first time it’s been proposed that any condition be imposed on the candidate receiving the mandate for coaltion-making.

The polls have been showing that neither the Netanyahu-led right-wing bloc nor the Gantz-led center-left bloc will be able to assemble a majority. Hence, the concern that another stalemate will follow the election and yet another election will be necessary.