Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on motzei Shabbos is scheduled to depart for an official state visit to Japan, TV News12 reported. This means the prime minister would be traveling abroad just three days before the expiration of the presidential mandate given to him to form a coalition government. When contacted for a response, the Prime Minister’s Office reported the final decision regarding if Mr. Netanyahu will travel abroad is yet to be made.
According to the report, the prime minister is scheduled to participate in an official state ceremony together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On next Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the presidential mandate given by President Reuven Rivlin to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to form a coalition government will expire. At present, it appears all efforts have failed as negotiations have broken down entirely. However, Likud officials are indicating while formal coalition talks are not taking place, efforts are ongoing to reach out to possible players, hoping to bring them in towards forming a Likud-led coalition.
The president is permitted to give the prime minister a 14-day extension in light of the difficulties Netanyahu faced in his coalition-building efforts for the second time in a half year, as Mr. Netanyahu failed to form a coalition following elections for the 21st Knesset, leading to the election on September 17th for the 22nd Knesset.
Once again, Mr. Netanyahu has hit a stone wall in those efforts. Things being what they are, Rivlin is not expected to grant the extension, but he is expected to give the mandate to MK Benny Gantz, who heads the Blue & White list. At present, it does not appear that Gantz will succeed in forming a coalition government either.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)