Blue and White MK: ‘Nothing is off table’ to ensure Gantz picked to form government

“Even those who said they oppose a minority government will recommend Gantz,” Shelah said.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

On Wednesday, Blue and White MK Ofer Shelah told Reshet Bet radio station that “nothing is off the table” to help party leader Benny Gantz get picked first by President Reuven Rivlin to form a government.

In Israel’s democratic system, the “winning” candidate after an election isn’t automatically given the chance to form a government. Instead, Rivlin is responsible for choosing the candidate he believes has the best chance of forming a coalition government.

Before doing so he takes into account the recommendations given to him by all members of the Knesset.

“We are working to do two things immediately – to consolidate a majority of Knesset members who will recommend Gantz to the President, and to consolidate a majority who will begin making the Knesset function,” Shelah said.

“Nothing is off the table. Our goal is to reach 61 so that Gantz will be tasked with forming a government,” Shelah said.”Even those who said they oppose a minority government will recommend Gantz.”

Meanwhile, Blue and White’s reliance on the Arab parties to form a minority-led government has been an issue of contention even with Gantz’s allies.

On Tuesday, Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abekasis’ refused to join a Blue and White minority-led government dependent on the outside support of the Arabs, calling such a deal “shameful” and disloyal to Israeli voters.

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“We are all witnessing the behavior of leaders who pledged credibility and accountability, and are currently engaged in shameful lobbying and willing to pay any price for any minority government, even if it is set up resting on untrustworthy support,” Levy-Abekasis said at the time.

“Israeli citizens are entitled to expect their representatives to act responsibly and reliably in fulfilling their promises for them,” she added.