Joint List planning not to recommend anyone to form coalition – report

Raoul Wootliff is the The Times of Israel's political correspondent.

Channel 12 news reports that the majority-Arab Joint List party will not recommend any candidate to form a coalition in its meeting with President Rivlin later today.

The party, which won six seats in the March 23 election, was initially expected to recommend Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid as its candidate for prime minister.

Without the Joint List, Lapid’s chances of receiving more recommendations than Netanyahu seem almost impossible.

The pro-Netanyahu bloc of Likud (30), Shas (9), UTJ (7), and Religious Zionism (6) has a total of 52 seats.

Yesh Atid (17 seats), Blue and White (8), Labor (7), Yisrael Beytenu (7), Meretz (6), and New Hope (6) won 51 of the Knesset’s 120 seats in total, and would need all four of Ra’am’s lawmakers to back its coalition and the right-wing Yamina, which received seven seats, in order to have a majority in the Knesset.