Israeli President to Meet Party Chiefs on Monday for Coalition Consultations

Reuven Rivlin will task the lawmaker receiving the most recommendations with creating new government ■ Gantz congratulates Netanyahu

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin speaks at the annual INSS Conference in Tel Aviv, January 2019.
\ Ilan Assayag

President Reuven Rivlin will meet on Monday with the heads of the parties elected to the Knesset for consultations to determine who he will appoint to form the next government, he said Friday. Rivlin has announced that for the first time, the talks will be broadcast live for the sake of transparency.

The consultations on Monday will include the largest parties and alliances: Likud, Kahol Lavan, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Hadash-Ta'al, and Labor. The following day, the president will meet with the leaders of the remaining ones: Yisrael Beiteinu, Union of Right-Wing Parties, Meretz, Kulanu, and United Arab List-Balad.

As soon as Rivlin tasks someone with forming a government, that person will have 28 days to form a coalition. Should an extension being required, the president may approve an additional 14 days.

Also Friday, Kahol Lavan co-leader Benny Gantz called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, vowing to continue to serve the Israeli people. 

>> Netanyahu vs. Gantz: 12 must reads on the Israel election results

The final election results will be published Wednesday, but results released Thursday after recounts showed right-wing parties with a majority of seats –and virtually all right-wing parties have said they would recommend to the president that Netanyahu form the next ruling coalition.

While Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned as Netanyahu's defense minister last year, has not declared that he will recommend Netanyahu, he said throughout the election campaign that he would not join a coalition led by Gantz. Gantz, as the chief of the new Knesset's second-largest party, is the only realistic alternative to Netanyahu for forming a coalition.