“Two elections in a year is enough,” Rivlin maintained, though bemoaning that “we may face another election.”
By World Israel News Staff
President Reuven Rivlin said Monday that he is bracing for an unprecedented third Israeli round of Knesset elections as the formation of a new government remains elusive, reports the Jerusalem Post.
“We must find a way for the two major parties to join forces, but it seems that their leaders want another election,” he said. “Two elections in a year is enough,” he maintained, though bemoaning that “we may face another election.”
According to the report, Rivlin was responding to a question from a delegate at a gathering of the B’nai Brith World Center about his thoughts regarding the political turmoil grasping the country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Blue and White, headed by MK Benny Gantz, finished tied in April’s election, and Blue and White finished one seat ahead of the Likud went Israelis went to the polls again in September.
Because of the political deadlock, Netanyahu could not cobble together a governing majority after the April ballot, and efforts by both Netanyahu and Gantz after the September vote have failed so far.
On Sunday, Gantz met with Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman met to discuss the possibility of forming a minority government with the outside support of the Joint List, a faction of predominantly non-Zionist Arab MKs.
After the Gantz-Liberman meeting, a joint statement said that “substantial progress has been made in drafting the fundamental principles [of the next government], particularly with respect to the issue of religion and state.”
“The [Joint] List is ready to do a lot within its electoral principles and promises to remove Netanyahu – the inciter and liar – provided there are gains for the Arab sector,” Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi said in an interview with Kan public radio on Sunday.
However, other members of the Arab Joint List have expressed their reluctance to sit with Liberman, whom they’ve called a racist.
On Sunday, the Israel Hayom daily cited a senior official in the Joint List as saying that “all the speculation and assumptions that we will support a minority government led by Gantz along with Liberman are another spin from the house of Bibi Netanyahu,” referring to the incumbent prime minister by his nickname.
Liberman has been stressing the need to form a national unity government that would include the two large factions – Likud and Blue and White – to set up a more stable government that would be less reliant on smaller parties.
The Israel Beiteinu leader reiterated on Monday that a unity government is still his preference.
A mandate given by the president to Gantz to try to form a government expires on Wednesday at midnight.