TIMELINE: What’s next after Netanyahu gave up on forming a government?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation he can not form a coalition, what now?

Netanyahu, Rivlin and Gantz holding hands  (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)
Netanyahu, Rivlin and Gantz holding hands
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN / REUTERS)
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed President Reuven Rivlin on Monday that he was unable to form a coalition, there are various scenarios that can take place in the coming weeks and months, depending on whether Blue and White leader Benny Gantz successfully builds a government.
October 22-24: Rivlin has up to three days to make a decision about his next move. During that time, President’s Residence Director-General Harel Tubi plans to contact the leaders of all the Knesset’s factions to inform them that he plans to entrust Gantz with the formation of the next government. Any faction that wishes to meet with Rivlin may do so, within the time constraints.
November 19-21: Gantz’s 28-day deadline to form a coalition will come on one of these dates, depending on when Rivlin officially tasks the Blue and White leader with building the next coalition. Unlike the first person given a chance to form a government – in this case, Netanyahu – the second person, Gantz, does not have an option of a 14-day extension, according to Basic Law: The Government.
December 10-12: If Gantz does not form a government, there will then be a 21-day period in which a majority of Knesset members can go to Rivlin and say they support a candidate for prime minister. Netanyahu or Gantz could be in the running again at this point. These dates are assuming that Gantz would take the full 28 days trying to form a government, which means that the mandate could go to the Knesset at an earlier time.
March 3 or 10, 2020: If the majority of the Knesset fails to support a candidate, the legislature will automatically disperse. At that time, all efforts to form a new government must end. A third election will be called for the last Tuesday in 90 days, which would be on one of these dates.
March 10 is Purim, which means the election is unlikely to be on this day, but the Central Elections Committee did not have an answer for The Jerusalem Post as to how to handle this possible situation. Normally the Knesset has the prerogative to choose a date and can defer for a week when it's not a holiday, but Basic Law: Knesset requires one to be within 90 days in this extreme case.