President Reuven Rivlin announces he will task Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid with the mandate to form a government.
In a televised statement from his official residence, Rivlin notes Lapid secured the recommendations of 56 MKs, versus seven for Yamina leader Naftali Bennett.
Explaining his decision, Rivlin stresses his “main consideration” was who has the best chances of forming a government that can win the Knesset’s backing.
“On the basis of the recommendations I received… I spoke just now with Knesset Member Yair Lapid and informed him I am tasking him with the mandate to form a government, whether this is a government that he initially leads, or whether it is a government led first by another candidate first and in which he initially serves as alternate prime minister,” Rivlin says.
The president also says that sending the mandate to the Knesset at this stage, which Prime Minister Netanyahu’s right-wing religious bloc recommended, “transgresses against the law and is likely to lead to fifth elections, without exhausting all the opportunities for forming a government.”