Likud party officials spent Sunday trying to convince Labor Party members Amir Peretz and Itzik Shmuli to recommend Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister, to no avail, Haaretz reports.
The two told the president they would be making no such recommendation, according to the broadsheet.
The two broke away from Meretz and were thought to be likely to join a unity coalition headed by Netanyahu before talks broke down last week.
President Reuven Rivlin has indicated he will not pass a mandate to form a government to Netanyahu after Benny Gantz’s 28 days expires tonight. With 61 MKs supporting him, Netanyahu could try to force Rivlin’s hand as the two negotiate a unity government.