Israel's president set to announce candidate to form new government

# 06 April 2021 03:05 (UTC +04:00)

Israel's president planned on Tuesday to announce a candidate to try to form a government after consultations he held with political parties left Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the apparent favourite with the most endorsements, APA reports quoting Reuters, APA reports quoting Reuters.

But the president, Reuven Rivlin, has wide discretion under law in making his choice. He said on Monday that "ethical considerations" could come into play, an apparent reference to the three corruption cases against Netanyahu.

Israel's election on March 23, its fourth in two years, ended with neither a Netanyahu-led right-wing and religious bloc nor a prospective alliance of his opponents winning a parliamentary majority.

The political impasse remained unbroken after Rivlin's marathon discussions with representatives of all of the parties that captured seats in the legislature. A spokesman for Rivlin said the round of consultations had ended and the president would give his decision on Tuesday.

Netanyahu received the recommendations of 52 lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset. Centrist politician and ex-Finance Minister Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party gleaned 45 endorsements and former Defence Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Yamina party got seven.

Three parties, with a total of 16 parliamentary seats, declined in their meetings with Rivlin to nominate any candidate.