Rivlin to task Netanyahu with forming coalition after PM wins 67 recommendations

Kulanu and Yisrael Beytenu back Netanyahu as PM on Monday, securing his place atop new government.

Kulanu backs Netanyahu to form coalition
Kulanu representatives on Monday met with President Reuven Rivlin, recommending that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be tasked with forming the next coalition. The nomination gave Netanyahu an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor and prompted Rivlin to announce that the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government.
Netanyahu later added an endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu giving him a total of 67 nominations.
Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon told President Rivlin that his party was neither Left nor Right, but socially-oriented with a central focus on the human being.
"We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition the better it will be for all of us," Kahlon said.
Following a meeting with Yisrael Beytenu,  Rivlin said that there was no doubt that he would pick Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who now has 67 nominations, to form the next government.
Rivlin, who had yet to meet with Meretz to complete the round of consultations, which he is mandated to hold by law, noted that nothing that Meretz can say can change the equation.
The score before the Meretz meeting is 24 nominations for Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, 67 for Netanyahu, and 24 MKs have decided not to nominate anyone.
Rivlin noted that after tasking someone to form a government, if that person succeeds, the government must still be approved by the Knesset and it is not necessarily a given that all those who nominated Netanyahu will vouch for his government.
Rivlin began the second day of consultations with Knesset factions on Monday, opening the discussions with the delegation of Yesh Atid, headed by MK Yael German.
When asked for a nomination she replied, "Our face is toward the opposition and we will continue to serve the whole electorate from there."
Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen said that his party respects the decision of the public. "We're not nominating anyone. Under a different constellation we might be prepared to reconsider. There will be a right-wing government with haredim and we will serve the public from the opposition."
 Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism recommended that Netanyahu form the coalition in meetings with Rivlin on Sunday.