Netanyahu Asks President of Israel Herzog for a Fourteen Day Extension to Form Coalition

By Hamodia Staff

Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu smiling for the camera after coalition talks this week. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – Prime minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu submitted a request Thursday night to President Isaac Herzog for a two-week extension of his mandate to form a government, according to media reports.

The regular 28-day period to form a government granted to Netanyahu after the November 1 election is set to expire on Sunday at midnight.

Amid wrangling among his coalition partners over ministerial appointments and legislative agendas, reports anticipating a request for extension have been circulating for some time.

As of Thursday, most but not all of the negotiations have been completed. Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit have signed coalition agreements; but United Torah Judaism this week signed a letter of understanding with Likud about appointments, while an actual coalition agreement was pending the resolution of issues such as protection of yeshiva students from the military draft.

Shas has reportedly reached agreement with Likud. But party leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri’s appointment to Minister of the Interior—and then in two years to Minister of Finance when RZP head Betzalel Smotrich steps aside in their agreed rotation—awaits passage of a fast-track bill to clear away legal obstacles to his appointment, due to his having received a suspended sentence for tax offenses.

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