Lapid Receives Support of 56 MKs; Right-Wing Parties to Ask Rivlin to Return Mandate to Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid (L.) with President Reuven Rivlin, Wednesday, at the President’s Residence in Yerushalayim. (GPO)

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s bid to form a coalition has on Wednesday the support of 56 MKs, eleven more than he received last month, as Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party this time gave their votes to Lapid, as well as five of the six MKs of the Joint List.

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, who is also hoping to be given the mandate to form a government, is only supported by the seven members of his own party.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the chareidi and religious parties that supported Netanyahu’s failed efforts to present a coalition government before his mandate expired on Tuesday will ask President Reuven Rivlin to return the mandate to the Knesset, as he did last year after Netanyahu failed to form a government.

By law, Rivlin has until Friday to present a second mandate.

But sources close to him said he wanted to proceed quickly and is likely to present the mandate by the end of Wednesday.