Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz Fail to Form Majority Government, Israel May Face Third Election
Israel may hold new elections after Benny Gantz, Blue and White party chairman, failed to form a government by Wednesday’s deadline.
According to CBN News, Gantz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have both not been able to earn a 61-seat majority to become prime minister. Israel’s parliament now has 21 days to nominate another lawmaker to form a majority government.
If that lawmaker also fails before the deadline, Israel will head to its third election, NPR reports.
"In the past 28 days no stone was left unturned while we tried to form a government that would bring Israel a leadership of dignity, morals and values, a leadership that has been forgotten," Gantz said, according to Haaretz.
"Most of the people chose a liberal unity government headed by Blue and White," he added. "Most of the people voted to weaken the power of extremists, and most of the people voted to go on a different path from that of Netanyahu in recent years."
Gantz’ Blue and White Party controls parliament with 33 seats. Netanyahu’s Likud party has 32 seats in parliament.
According to Time, Netanyahu was unable to gather parliamentary support in the Israeli coalition-dependent government. Israel’s president then tasked Gantz with the job.
Gantz does not want to share the prime minister role with Netanyahu, in part because of corruption charges looming over Netanyahu.
Israel’s Supreme Court Justice has delayed his announcement regarding Netanyahu’s possible indictment.
Gantz and Netanyahu need support from Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman said this week he would not endorse either candidate, saying they both showed a “lack of leadership” during unity government discussions.
“One refused to accept President Reuven Rivlin’s compromise, the other refused to give up his right-wing, messianic bloc,” Lieberman told reporters at the Knesset.
“I left no stone unturned in my attempt to reach a unity government like we promised,” he added. “If we are dragged into elections, it will be because of a lack of leadership.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer