Rivlin nominates Netanyahu to form new government

The Israeli president announced Tuesday his selection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government.

By World Israel News and TPS

After President Reuven Rivlin held a round of consultations on Monday with all parties elected to the 24th Knesset, he announced early Tuesday afternoon that he had selected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government.

At the end of the round of consultations, 52 Members of Knesset (MK) nominated the prime minister and Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. Forty-five MKs recommended head of Yesh Atid Yair Lapid and seven MKs nominated chair of Yamina Naftali Bennet.

The Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and the Religious Zionist Party nominated Netanyahu

Yesh Atid, Kachol Lavan, Labor, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Meretz nominated MK Yair Lapid

Yamina recommended MK Naftali Bennett.

New Hope, the Joint List and Ra’am decided not to recommend any candidate.

“I know the position held by many, that the president should not give the role to a candidate that is facing criminal charges,” said Rivlin in a statement on Tuesday, referencing the corruption cases Netanyahu is currently battling, “but according to the law and the decision of the courts, a prime minister can continue in his role even when he is facing charges.”

Rivlin continued, “Given [the current] state of affairs, when there is no majority of 61 Knesset Members supporting a particular candidate, and without additional considerations indicating the chances of the candidates to form a government, I have come to a decision based on the numbers of recommendations, which indicates that MK Benjamin Netanyahu has a slightly higher chance of forming a government. Accordingly, I have decided to entrust him with the task of doing so.”

With a deadlock of 60-60, Israel may be facing its fifth round of elections in a little more than two years.

In his statement Tuesday, Rivlin said his selection of Netanyahu was “not an easy decision on a moral and ethical basis,” adding that he “fears for [his] country.

“I am doing what is required of me as President of the State of Israel, according to the law and to the ruling of the court, and realizing the will of the sovereign Israeli people,” said Rivlin

He concluded by quoting President Abraham Lincoln and Menachem Begin, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, … let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”