Netanyahu suffers defeat in failing to form Israeli government

Jerusalem, Oct 22 (AFP/APP): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suffered an important defeat in his bid to hang on as premier by failing to form a new government, but his opponent faced similar difficulties on Tuesday.

Ex-military chief Benny Gantz is now expected to be given the chance to try to negotiate a coalition by President Reuven Rivlin, but a deadlock following September 17 polls remains and yet another election cannot be ruled out.

It would be the third election within a year after Netanyahu also failed to form a coalition after April polls.
Netanyahu’s decision to inform Rivlin on Monday night that he has been unable to form a government by no means signalled the end of his tenure as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.

He remains premier as long as no new government is formed, and a number of scenarios exist that could see him retain his post even as he faces the possibility of corruption charges in the weeks ahead.

One of the few things clear in Israel’s post-electoral morass was that Netanyahu, who celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday, was not giving up.

But his announcement was a landmark moment in Israeli politics since Netanyahu has been given the president’s mandate to form a government after every election since 2009.

Netanyahu faces key day in bid to remain Israel PM

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