Among the pressing legal questions generated by the indictment of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is whether he can henceforth receive the mandate to form a new government.
State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan—who received dishonorable mention as a major culprit in the “witch hunt” against him in the prime minister’s speech on Thursday night—has been quoted by Globes as saying in private meetings that Netanyahu will be barred from getting a mandate.
Sources in the Justice Ministry maintain that while a prime minister can remain in office unless actually convicted of a crime, court rulings indicate that he would not be permitted to form a government, they said.
Nitzan declined to comment on the report, and his office said that “no decision has been made yet on the matter.”
The 21-day period that began on Thursday, during which Knesset members can nominate a candidate for prime minister from among their colleagues, would include and Benny Gantz, but not Netanyahu, if the opinion attributed to Nitzan is accepted.
Also on Thursday, the Labor-Gesher party was preparing to petition the High Court for a ruling that Netanyahu must step down while under indictment.
“Netanyahu’s indictments are the reason we don’t have a government,” party lead Amir Peretz said. “In a democracy, we cannot accept a prime minister under indictment.”
If Netanyahu can be removed from office, a government can be formed and a third election in less than a year can be averted, he added.
Updated Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 3:35 pm gesher comment