President of Israel Reuven Rivlin has asked the long-time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rival and leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, to try to form a new government.
The Likud party, led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, may now have to play the role of opposition, for the first time in 12 years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a new coalition government by midnight on Tuesday.
Now that the deadline has passed, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin can delegate the task of forming a government to another member of the Israeli parliament. As a result, Netanyahu’s Likud party will become an opposition party for the first time in 12 years.
“The period of 28 days allotted according to Basic Law: The Government (2001) to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu MK to form a government expired at midnight,” Rivlin said in a statement.
“Shortly before midnight, Netanyahu informed Beit HaNasi that he was unable to form a government and returned the mandate to the president. Tomorrow morning, Wednesday 5 May/23 Iyyar, Beit HaNasi will contact the parties in the Knesset regarding the process of forming a government,” he added.
Shortly before midnight, Netanyahu informed Beit HaNasi that he was unable to form a government and returned the mandate to the president.
Tomorrow morning, Wednesday 5 May/23 Iyyar, Beit HaNasi will contact the parties in the Knesset regarding the process of forming a government
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) May 4, 2021
President Reuven now asked Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid to form a government. Former news anchor Lipid is considered a staunch opponent of Netanyahu.
Israel has been in political turmoil for some time. There have been four general elections in the last two years, but the people have not given a clear majority to any party and it is becoming difficult for them to form a stable coalition government. The latest election was held last March.
If any member of parliament fails to form a new government, elections will be held for the fifth time.
What will be the future of Netanyahu?
Netanyahu, 71, has been Israel’s prime minister since 2009. He has served as prime minister for the longest time in Israel’s history. He also held the post between 1996 and 1999.
Netanyahu has also served in the Israeli army. He also took part in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
He also spent part of his life in the United States, where he studied architecture at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Netanyahu’s stance on Iran has been harsh and he has often criticized Tehran for its nuclear activities. He has also rejected the idea of a separate state for the Palestinian people.
Netanyahu is also facing charges of bribery, breach of trust and fraud. He denies the allegations but says they have made it more difficult for him to form a government.
To win a majority in the 120-member Israeli parliament, Netanyahu will need the support of both the Islamist Arab party United Arab List (UAL) and the far-right Jewish nationalist party Religious Zionist Party. But the Religious Zionist Party has refused to join the alliance with the UAL.