A very formal ceremony took place on Wednesday evening at the residence of the President of the State, who signed the official deed instructing Benyamin Netanyahu to form the next government. President Rivlin noted that “people had spoken” and that after receiving the delegations of each party, “the picture is now clear”: Benyamin Netanyahu was recommended by 65 deputies against Benny Gantz who received only 45 votes.
Reuven Rivlin recalled that the election campaign was particularly harsh and violent “on both sides” with “sometimes words that should not be heard in a Jewish or democratic state”.
He listed the tasks facing the next government in the political and security fields but stressed what he saw as a fundamental challenge: the need to reduce social disparities and divisions in the population, which were further exacerbated during the election campaign: “Only a strong Israel from within can be a strong Israel from the outside,” he said.
Unable to express himself without addressing a spade to Benyamin Netanyahu standing beside him, Reuven Rivlin made an appeal: “It is time to stop the war against ‘them’ and start fighting for the return of faith in ‘us’.”
Netanyahu has 28 days to complete the negotiations
Netanyahu is assured of being entrusted with this task unless there is a political thunderclap. He will then have to negotiate with the various parties for a government majority agreement before starting his fifth term. Negotiations are likely to be complicated due to the conflicting demands and interests of the members of its potential coalition. To complete the negotiations, Netanyahu has 28 days, which can be extended by up to 14 days. In a statement Tuesday evening to his supporters, Netanyahu welcomed a “sweet” and “historic” victory, pledging to unify society after a passionate election campaign.
In the aftermath of the April 9th elections, the Israeli President consulted representatives of each of the parties in the future Knesset on Monday and Tuesday in turn. The right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties representing an absolute majority of 65 seats out of 120 recommended Netanyahu’s name to the President as the next Prime Minister. Netanyahu’s main rival in the elections, Benny Gantz, head of a center-right list, received sponsorships equivalent to 45 recommendations.