Netanyahu Tries to Form Last-Minute Coalition as Midnight Deadline Looms

JERUSALEM, Israel – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has until midnight Tuesday to put together a new government coalition. If he fails to do so, his political rivals could potentially unseat him for the first time in 12 years.

Netanyahu has struggled to wrestle together a parliamentary majority following the May 23 election, when Israelis flocked to the polls for the fourth time in two years with the hopes of bringing an end to their nation’s political stalemate. The election ended in another political deadlock, with neither Netanyahu, nor his rivals – a diverse bloc of parties from Israel’s right, left and center – able to secure enough seats to form a clear majority.

If Netanyahu’s last-minute negotiations and politicking can’t secure him a majority coalition by midnight, the matter returns to President Reuven Rivlin.

But a failure to reach a deal does not automatically push Netanyahu out of office. Rivlin may decide to give him another two weeks to form a majority coalition or give one of Netanyahu’s opponents the opportunity to form a government. Lastly, the president might send the matter directly to parliament and ask lawmakers to choose who will be the country’s next prime minister.

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Source: CBN