President starts consultations on prime ministerial candidate
Starting Monday, President Reuven is asking 13 party delegations for recommendations on the best candidate for forming the post-election government. Likud as the largest party goes first, followed by opposition Yesh Atid and the rest in order of size, He will announce his decision on Tuesday when the new Knesset is sworn in or the next day. To date, PM Binyamin Netanyahu can count on the 52 MKs of his Likud and three religious parties, while Lapid is endorsed by 45. To reach a majority of 61, both count on two parties tipping the scales, Naftali Bennett’s Yamina and either the Joint Arab List or Manour Abba’s Ra’am. Bennett may recommend himself, although his faction consists of only 7 seats, while the Arab parties remain uncommitted. In the absence of a candidate capable of forming a viable, stable government, Israel may even face a fifth general election after four polls failed to resolve the political impasse.