Rivlin 'surprised' that Netanyahu refused to return PM mandate

"I was surprised that Netanyahu didn't return the mandate after not succeeding in forming a coalition," Rivlin said at a Channel 12 conference on Thursday.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 6, 2019 01:26
1 minute read.
Rivlin 'surprised' that Netanyahu refused to return PM mandate

President Rivlin talks at influencer conference in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: KOBI RICHTER/TPS)

President Reuven Rivlin said that he was “surprised” when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to return the mandate of forming a coalition after he failed to do so in late May.

Following the last election on April 9, Rivlin tapped Netanyahu to form the coalition after the Likud leader received the most recommendations from different party heads.

Netanyahu failed to form a government after six weeks, but instead of returning the mandate to Rivlin, the Likud Party led the Knesset in a vote to disperse itself, forcing a new election that will be held on September 17.

“I was surprised that Netanyahu didn’t return the mandate after not succeeding in forming a coalition,” Rivlin said at a Channel 12 conference on Thursday.

Rivlin also said that he would do everything possible to prevent a third election. “I, like most Israeli citizens, see the prospect of a third election within the same year with great severity.”

Earlier Thursday, United Torah Judaism leader Ya’acov Litzman slammed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for saying he wants to form a government that does not include religious parties.

Litzman pointed out that UTJ avoided attacking Gantz, focusing only on Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid, a longtime opponent of the ultra-Orthodox, but said that the situation changed after Gantz said earlier this week that he wants a “secular unity government.”

“Apparently Lapid is a contagious disease that Gantz caught,” Litzman said. “We said clearly that if Netanyahu takes Gantz without Lapid, we would go with him.”
 


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