Opposition leaders in last-ditch bid to beat Netanyahu for PM mandate

President Rivlin’s fateful decision was still awaited on Tuesday morning after  parties representing 52 parliamentarians endorsed Binyamin Netanyahu as their candidate for next prime minister against the 45 won by opposition leader Yair Lapid and 7 by Naftali Bennett. Lapid and Bennett have entered into last-ditch negotiations to join forces for a “government of change” in which Bennett would go first as prime minister succeeded after two years by Lapid. Gideon Saar, another member of the opposition camp, declined to endorse any candidate unless Lapid and Bennett forged a deal. The president must announce his preferred candidate by Wednesday.

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