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Israel’s president meets with parties as Netanyahu prepares to form government

Today, Wednesday, the Israeli president will start talks with party leaders on the next ruling coalition that should form Benjamin Netanyahu, after receiving the official results of the November 1 election.

In the last four Israeli elections, the results were inconclusive and it was not immediately clear which leader would have the opportunity to form a ruling coalition, or if he would be successful.

But the recent elections brought a clear victory to Netanyahu, who has served as prime minister longer than anyone else in Israel’s history.

As a result, the right-wing Likud party, two ultra-Orthodox parties and the right-wing “Religious Zionism” coalition will form a right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu, which won 64 out of 120 seats in the Knesset.

This result should provide Netanyahu with a stable majority for a government that will be the most right-wing in Israel’s history, after an era of unprecedented political stalemate and five elections. in four years. The new Knesset will be sworn in next week.

President Yitzhak Herzog on Wednesday denied reports that he was encouraging Netanyahu’s rivals, in in particular, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, to form a government of social unity that would sideline controversial right-wing leader Itamar Ben Gvir.

Herzog said: “I have neither worked nor am I working to put pressure on the formation of a particular government, nor am I involved in its formation or size. I leave this task to the political system and to him alone.”

Herzog will meet Likud representatives on Wednesday and his consultations with the rest of the parties will continue until Friday.

Herzog’s office said the official mandate to form a government would be issued on Sunday.

Netanyahu is likely to have to accommodate the demands of his right-wing allies, but he should not face insurmountable challenges during coalition talks.

Netanyahu led Israel from 1996 to 1999 and then for a while record from 2009 to 2021.

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