President denies two PM candidate initiative

The column said Rivlin believes Netanyahu should have given him back the mandate and that after the September election, he will prevent Netanyahu from bypassing the law if he cannot form a government

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August 6, 2019 21:45
1 minute read.
President denies two PM candidate initiative

President Reuven Rivlin speaks at his Residence in Jerusalem, following his discussions with party's members, who arrived to deliver their recommendations for prime minister. Jerusalem, Apr 15, 2019. (photo credit: ESTY DZIUBOV/TPS)

 The President’s Residence released a rare statement denying claims made about President Reuven Rivlin in an opinion piece published on Tuesday in Haaretz.

Veteran journalist Uzi Benziman wrote in a column under the headline “Rivlin is not a sucker” that the president had learned lessons from the aftermath of the April election, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the Knesset disperse itself instead of letting the president appoint Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a coalition.
The column said Rivlin believes Netanyahu should have given him back the mandate and that after the September election, he will prevent Netanyahu from bypassing the law if he cannot form a government. Benziman wrote that the president is determined to restore honor to the Knesset and the stature of the office of the president.


Sources close to the president were quoted saying that in the post-election consultations at the President’s Residence, Rivlin will ask parties to present an alternative candidate for prime minister in case the first candidate’s efforts fail.


Rivlin’s spokeswoman put out a statement saying that “there is no intention of changing the procedure and no party will be asked to present two candidates.”


She declined to comment on whether Benziman, who is Rivlin’s cousin, had received a personal briefing from the president.


Netanyahu’s spokesman and other sources close to the prime minister were unwilling to comment on anything written in the column.


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