Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday asked Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new Cabinet in the wake of the failed unity talks with his rival Benny Gantz.
Rivlin’s remarks came in a joint news conference with Netanyahu aired by Israeli TV.
The move came after the talks between Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White coalition, failed to form a national unity government.
According to election final results, the Blue and White coalition won 33 seats in the Knesset, ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud party with 32 seats after the last week’s polls.
The Likud-led bloc of right-wing and religious parties is six seats short of a ruling majority in the 120-seat parliament. In the new countdown, Likud has the pledged support of 55 legislators against 54 for Blue and White party.
Netanyahu called for the swift formation of a broad unity government, saying “national reconciliation” was needed in light of alleged threats from Iran and the unveiling of US President Donald Trump’s soon-to-be-announced peace “deal of the century .”
Netanyahu, facing a looming indictment on corruption allegations he denies, still has no clear path to a fifth term after emerging from the September 17 ballot, the second this year, short of a parliamentary majority.