Rivlin Chides, Tasks Netanyahu to Form Government

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin seemed to chide Benjamin Netanyahu for the prime minister’s Election Day comments about Arab-Israeli voters before tasking him to form the next government.

On Wednesday, Rivlin received the official results of last week’s national elections showing Netanyahu’s Likud with 30 Knesset seats to lead all parties. Shortly after receiving the results, Rivlin met with Netanyahu and tasked him with forming the new government.

“I see myself as the prime minister of all citizens of Israel, those who voted for me and those who did not,” Netanyahu said in accepting the charge. Netanyahu on Election Day had warned potential Likud voters to come to the polls because Arab voters were coming out in “droves.” Nearly 72 percent of Israeli voters turned out for the national balloting.

“A high voter turnout is the realization of democracy, and a blessing to democracy. How awful would it be, if the democratic duty to vote, were to be seen as a curse, or something from which to be warned off?” Rivlin said after being presented with the voting results by the Central Elections Committee chairman, Justice Salim Joubran. “One who is afraid of votes in a ballot box will eventually see stones thrown in the streets.”

Rivlin consulted this week with representatives of the other parties elected to the Knesset on who would be best to form a government. The president said he was giving the task of forming the government “to the candidate who received the recommendations of most of the members of Knesset — more than 61 lawmakers. That candidate will receive the first opportunity to form a coalition.”

Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government, and can request a 14-day extension. He already has begun coalition negotiations with right-leaning parties.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Rivlin Chides, Tasks Netanyahu to Form Government

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close