Rivlin meets Lapid, Bennett as consultations begin

Written by on May 5, 2021

Sources close to Rivlin said he was likely to present the mandate by the end of Wednesday • Sa’ar’s New Hope decides to recommend Lapid

Rivlin speaks to MKs on April 5 2021. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Rivlin speaks to MKs on April 5 2021.

(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

President Reuven Rivlin began the process of facilitating the formation of a new government on Wednesday by meeting with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett.

Rivlin invited other party leaders to convey their position in writing by 2 p.m.

“If further clarifications are required, the president will consider inviting representatives of your party to present their position to him, in line with the timeframe set out in the law,” director-general of the President’s Residence Harel Tubi wrote to the party leaders.

Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett arrives at the President's Residence (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett arrives at the President’s Residence (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Bennett arrived at the President’s Residence and told reporters “With God’s help, we will form a good government.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate to form a government ended Tuesday night without a coalition being formed.

By law, Rivlin has until Friday to present a second mandate.

But sources close to him said he wanted to proceed quickly and is likely to present the mandate by the end of the day.

Meanwhile, the New Hope faction decided on Wednesday morning to recommend Lapid to form the government. Sa’ar said it was the right step on the path to a unity government.

Opposition leader and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid arrives at the President's Residence (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)Opposition leader and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid arrives at the President’s Residence (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Likud faction chairman Miki Zohar said he still hoped a right-wing government could be formed.

“To all those exulting over us returning the mandate, we are not worried, even if the path back could be long.”

He warned Bennett, New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar and Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich that the public would punish them for preventing Netanyahu from forming a government.

“The people of Israel will not vote again for those who hung [Netanyahu],” Zohar wrote on Twitter.

Marc Israel Sellem contributed to this report.

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