President Moshe Katsav formally gave acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert the authority to try to form Israel's next government, Katzav said Thursday.
Katsav said 78 members of Israel's 120-member Knesset recommended that Katsav pick Olmert to be the next prime minister.
"I am honored to announce at this time that I decided to give lawmaker Ehud Olmert the responsibility of forming the government," Katsav said.
Olmert said he would try to complete the formation of the new government as quickly as possible.
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