Former Israeli PM Netanyahu tasked with forming new gov’t

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday tasked former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government, after the victory of the veteran politician and his alliance of far-right parties in parliamentary elections.

 

Former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu (L) receives the mandate from Israeli President Isaac Herzog to form a new government at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on Nov. 13, 2022. Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday tasked former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a new government, after the victory of the veteran politician and his alliance of far-right parties in parliamentary elections. (Xinhua/Wang Zhuolun)

 

In broadcast joint statements, Herzog said he doesn’t “turn a blind eye” to Netanyahu’s ongoing criminal trial over corruption charges and it should not “be taken lightly.” However, he said, the Supreme Court has ruled that Netanyahu was fit to form a government.

Last week, Herzog held formal consultation talks with representatives of all the political parties. The talks provided “a clear picture,” Herzog said, noting that Netanyahu received the most support — 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

Netanyahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, vowed to serve the entire Israeli citizens, also those “who haven’t voted for me.”

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu now has 28 days to form a coalition government, with a possible 14-day extension.

The move came in the wake of the country’s fifth elections since 2019, which were held on Nov. 1.

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