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Israel’s president gives centrist Yair Lapid mandate to form government after PM Netanyahu misses deadline

Israel’s president gives centrist Yair Lapid mandate to form government after PM Netanyahu misses deadline
The president of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, has asked opposition leader Yair Lapid to form a government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to secure enough support to form a coalition.

Lapid, the chairman of the centrist Yesh Atid party will have a 28-day mandate to form a government. He has so far received 56 recommendations from lawmakers from across Israel’s 120-seat Knesset.

The politician has pledged to rotate as prime minister with Naftali Bennett, the chairman of the right-wing Yamina party, who has seven recommendations.

Rivlin made the announcement in a televised speech on Wednesday, saying it was clear Lapid could form a government, given the support for him in the Knesset.

Also on rt.com Israeli PM Netanyahu misses deadline to form government coalition, President Rivlin to decide next move

Israel, which has held four elections in two years, has been “caught in a maze – if not a political crisis,” the president said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bennett urged all political parties to form a “broad emergency government” in order to avoid a fifth election.

At midnight local time on Tuesday, Netanyahu, Israels longest-serving leader, missed the deadline to form a government.

His right-wing Likud party won 30 seats in the Knesset in the March election, making it the largest party, ahead of Yesh Atid, which took 17 seats.

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