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After Rivlin decries hold-up of budget, Likud MKs accuse him of playing politics

President Reuven Rivlin addresses, via video link, a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya on March 15, 2021 (screenshot: GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin addresses, via video link, a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya on March 15, 2021 (screenshot: GPO)

After President Reuven Rivlin called for “unusual collaborations” to solve the extended political deadlock and lamented the Netanyahu-led government’s failure to pass a budget, Likud lawmakers lash out at the president, accusing him of being politically motivated.

“The president does not determine the election results! He must not become a political player,” say Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin in a rare joint statement.

“Since the establishment of the state, all the presidents of Israel have given the first opportunity to form a government to the candidate who received the largest number of recommendations — and this should be the case this time as well,” the three say.

Rivlin earlier said his main consideration in picking a candidate to form the next government would be their “chance of forming a government that will win the Knesset’s endorsement” — a possible indication that he won’t necessarily pick the lawmaker with the most formal recommendations.

Rivlin said the extended political crisis harms Israel’s democracy, and called for a government that will “pass the state budget, oversee the healing of damaged systems and citizens, and rescue state bodies from the political freeze we have landed in at a time when the people needs the state bodies more than ever.”

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