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21 Oct, 2019 17:18

Netanyahu says he FAILED to form govt, his rival Gantz given 28 days to do the job

Netanyahu says he FAILED to form govt, his rival Gantz given 28 days to do the job

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he has failed to form a unity government. President Reuven Rivlin is now to give his rival Benny Gantz 28 days to form a coalition, after neither secured a majority in September’s snap election.

Netanyahu informed Rivlin on Monday evening that he was returning the mandate to form a government. In a Facebook video, Netanyahu said he had worked "relentlessly" to establish a "broad national unity government" which is "what the people wants."

In a statement, Rivlin said he will give Gantz 28 days for the task of forming a coalition. The decision is to be formally announced within the next couple of days.

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Gantz, whose Blue and White Party won the most seats in the September election, had previously rejected calls from Netanyahu to form a unity government.

Blue and White won 33 seats while Netanyahu's Likud party won 32, both falling far short of securing the 61 needed to form a majority government in the 120-seat Knesset (Israeli parliament).

Netanyahu's admission comes before a Wednesday deadline to form a coalition.

In his statement, Rivlin said he would speak with other political factions regarding his intention to tap Gantz to form a new government.

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