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Rivlin said set to tap Lapid with forming government, won’t give it to Bennett

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President Reuven Rivlin will likely tap Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid with forming the next government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to do so by the Tuesday night deadline, but will likely not consider offering it to Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, according to Hebrew media reports.

Netanyahu was given the first opportunity to cobble together a coalition after receiving 52 recommendations to Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid’s 45.

Rivlin, who as Israel’s president is tasked with mandating a lawmaker to form a government, can either give Netanyahu an extension, hand the mandate to another lawmaker or send it to the Knesset for a 21-day period, after which fifth elections would automatically be called if no one forms a government.

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The president prefers the second option, according to Hebrew media reports Monday, and is slated to transfer the government-forming mandate to Lapid as he has the second most recommendations. President Reuven Rivlin meets with the Yesh Atid party at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, April 5, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Rivlin could also offer Bennett the chance to form a government, but the reports, citing senior political sources, said the president was unlikely to take this route. Even if Netanyahu and a majority of right-wing lawmakers choose to alter the recommendations made to Rivlin in order to back Bennett, the president is not expected to transfer the mandate to the Yamina chair, the reports said.

This is because the move would largely be seen as an attempt to........

© The Times of Israel

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