Rivlin to Task Candidate for PM Next Wednesday

YERUSHALAYIM -
President Reuven Rivlin casts his ballot at a voting station, during the Knesset Elections, last Tuesday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin will begin consultations with political parties next Monday on their preferred candidate to try to form a government, a spokesman said, after a fourth election in two years ended in another stalemate.

In a statement, the President’s Residence said that the meetings will be broadcast live at Rivlin’s own request.

“As was done for the first time during the 2019 elections, the president instructed that his meetings with the factions be broadcast live, on all various media and in full transparency with the citizens of Israel,” the statement read.

Earlier on Monday, Shas leader Rabbi Arye Deri announced he intended to recommend Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as his candidate to form the next government.

“Shas will work to form a right-wing government led by Netanyahu that will preserve the Jewish identity of the state and work for the benefit of the state’s weaker sectors,” Rabbi Deri said in a statement. “Shas calls on all right-wing parties, especially Yamina and New Hope, to rise to the occasion and join a fully right-wing government.”

United Torah Judaism co-leader Rabbi Yaakov Litzman also said Monday that his party will be recommending Netanyahu for the premiership. “Our objective is to form a right-wing coalition for all Israeli citizens, and any other rumors are nothing but lies,” he said during a party conference.

Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz on his part, called on Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid, Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, and New Hope head Gideon Saar to convene as soon as possible in order to try to unseat Netanyahu.