Unity Government Tops Agenda as Post-Election Process Begins

YERUSHALAYIM -
President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Likud party offered to enter a unity government with Blue and White, but the latter refused, in consultations with President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday.

Representing Likud, Minister Yariv Levin told Rivlin that they seek a “broad unity” government which would include both its right-wing religious allies and Blue and White.

However, the Blue and White delegation reiterated their position that they cannot sit in a government with a prime minister facing criminal charges. Rivlin noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not yet been indicted for anything.

President Reuven Rivlin demanded on Sunday that both major parties join in a unity government.

“The people of Israel want a government that will be stable,” Rivlin said. “A stable government cannot be a government without both of the two largest parties,” and the people were “disgusted” by the thought of another deadlock and a third election.

Blue and White MK Zvi Hauser stated that their chairman Benny Gantz’s goal would be national reconciliation. This, despite his and Yair Lapid’s refusal to join a coalition with chareidim.

Rivlin asked if Likud will return to him the mandate to form a government if its candidate fails in the task of forming a coalition.

“The answer is yes,” Levin replied.

Shortly before last week’s voting, Gantz proposed that it should be made a condition upon whomever is asked to form a government first.