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Wednesday deadline looms for Israel’s Benny Gantz to form coalition government


Wednesday deadline looms for Israel’s Benny Gantz to form coalition government

gantz coalition deadline
Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Today marks the deadline for Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to form a coalition government in the Israeli Knesset.

Gantz’s chance follows incumbent PM and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s failed attempt to secure a governing majority. Should Gantz fail to form a government, any member of the Knesset would have three weeks to form a government before new elections, the third this year, would be held.

The future is exceedingly unclear. Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the secular, nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, has said he will try to force a unity government between Likud and Blue and White until Wednesday at noon. Talks of a unity government with a prime ministerial rotation previously failed after Gantz and Netanyahi fell out over who would govern first. The issue is of particular concern to the latter, who, as PM, would be protected from impending indictment charges that are likely to be released next week.

As far as any government being formed today goes, a unity between the two major parties seems most probable, though is ultimately unlikely. Though he has been outspoken against supporting a Blue and White governing minority with support from the Arab Joint League, Lieberman could, at the last second, agree to such an arrangement to prevent new election, though this is similarly unlikely. At present, gridlock, followed by a third election, seems to be the most probable outcome.

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