Rivlin asks Likud MKs: If Netanyahu can’t be chosen, ‘is there an alternative candidate you’d recommend

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

President Rivlin hints at the possibility that Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial may play a role in his decision on whom to task with forming a coalition.

“There may be other considerations, including value-based considerations that I do not know if the president has the authority to consider,” Rivlin tells Likud representatives after they recommended Netanyahu.

“Is there another candidate you would like to recommend as an alternative candidate [to Netanyahu], if such considerations will prevent your candidate from being chosen?” Rivlin asks.

Members of the Yesh Atid party meet with President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on April 5, 2021 (Mark Neyman / GPO)

Minister Ofer Akunis replies simply, “No.”

Minister Amir Ohana notes: “More than 1 million voters voted for Likud headed by Netanyahu; they knew full well about the situation you, the president, have hinted at… They expressed their trust in him, and their lack of trust in others.”