Rivlin calls on Likud, Blue and White to compromise on unity

President receives official March 2 election results

President Reuven Rivlin receives official March 2, 2020 election results on March 11, 2020 (photo credit: screenshot)
President Reuven Rivlin receives official March 2, 2020 election results on March 11, 2020
(photo credit: screenshot)
President Reuven Rivlin urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz on Wednesday to accept his framework for ending the political stalemate that has stretched on for more than 15 months.
After the September election, Rivlin proposed that Netanyahu serve as prime minister and Gantz vice prime minister. Rivlin’s plan called for passing laws enabling a prime minister to suspend himself indefinitely to deal with an indictment while a bolstered vice prime minister runs the country until the prime minister is cleared of charges.
"Among other options, you have the framework I offered after the last election," Rivlin said. "I am certainly aware of the criticism the framework received. Nevertheless, I did not believe there was another way, and it seems that even today the situation has not changed a great deal. There are many who are looking here with hope that salvation will come from this house. The salvation is in the hands of you, those who the public elected as its leaders, and I hereby place the task in your hands once again."
Rivlin spoke as he formally received the results of the March 2 election from the head of the Central Elections Committee, Supreme Court Judge Neal Hendel, at the President’s Residence. The president will hold consultations on Sunday with the eight factions of the 23rd Knesset that will be sworn in the following day.
"This is the place to remind party heads and elected officials that this house, and I personally, are at your disposal for any serious and genuine conversation you may wish to hold," Rivlin said. "Any agreement that produces a stable government that gains the trust of the people will be welcomed." 
The deadline for Rivlin to appoint a Knesset member to form a government is next Tuesday. He expressed hope that the 23rd Knesset will last a long time
Without mentioning him my name, Rivlin criticized Netanyahu for repeatedly attacking the Joint List and saying that its MKs do not count.
"There are no semi-citizens in Israel - there are strong disagreements, but no semi-citizens," Rivlin said.
Earlier in the week, Hendel rejected a series of appeals from Likud asking him to postpone announcing the final results. The party wanted to question the results in many polling stations in an effort to change the final outcome, but Hendel decided that only three polling stations had serious enough problems. 
Rivlin defended Hendel and the work of his committee.
"At this point in time, which has turned the last year into an exhausting year of elections, the Central Elections Committee has been an anchor of stability; the gate-keeper of Israel’s order and of the sensitive democratic mechanisms that are so precious," Rivlin said.