Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday assigned the mandate of forming the next government to Prime Minister-elect Binyamin Netanyahu.
Herzog said at the ceremony that since Netanyahu was recommended as a candidate to form the next government by 64 Knesset members, in contrast to interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who was recommended by only 28 members, “therefore, according to all considerations, the result is clear – and the task of forming the government should be assigned to MK Binyamin Netanyahu.”
Following Herzog’s speech, Netanyahu spoke, saying: “I am personally very excited to receive the right to form the government, no less than the first time I was zocheh to this 26 years ago. The voting public has granted unequivocal trust in me and the Likud, as well as the parties that are partners in our path. But I want to say: I intend to be the prime minister of everyone – of those who elected me, and of those who did not. This reflects what I believe in and what guides my actions.”
“I intend to work together to increase the space for agreement between us. Even if there are differences of opinion between us on fundamental issues, there are more than enough issues around which the vast majority can unite and agree. We are brothers, we are meant to live side by side.”
“There are many, many who welcome the results of the elections – but there are also those who utter wrathful prophecies and frighten the public. This isn’t the first time such statements have been voiced. They said it about Begin, they said it about me also – it wasn’t true then and it isn’t true today either.”
Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government and if he doesn’t succeed during that time, he can receive a 14-day extension from President Herzog.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)