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Netanyahu and Gantz teams meet to negotiate a coalition government

September 24, 2019


The teams of the outgoing Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opposition leader, Benny Gantz, met on Tuesday as part of the efforts of both parties to form a coalition government after being practically tied in the elections of the past 17 of September.

Netanyahu, leader of the conservative Likud party, was the second most voted option, behind the Blue and White Gantz party, with 31 and 33 seats respectively, so neither of the two formations has clear options to form a government.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met them Monday afternoon at his official residence, first in a three-way meeting and then leaving Netanyahu and Gantz alone. After that, both agreed to meet again Tuesday and Wednesday.

Looking ahead to the meeting this afternoon, representatives of the Likud, headed by the Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin, and Blanco y Azul, led by Yoram Turbowicz, met this morning for an hour and a half in a “good atmosphere”, According to the joint statement, collected by 'Times of Israel'.

The main obstacle to these negotiations is the agreement that Netanyahu signed with his allies of the right-wing bloc, in which he undertakes to include them in any government pact, and which Gantz wants to do without.

“We adhere and believe in the unity of the bloc (from the right) with the prime minister. We also see in the results of the elections that we must join forces to establish a unity government with parties from the left,” said Ayelet Shaked of Yamina, one of Netanyahu's partners.

According to the statement issued by Likud after Monday's meeting, Netanyahu transmitted to Gantz that he spoke on behalf of “the entire nationalist camp.” “I'm still committed to what he promised you,” he told his allies in a telephone conversation.

In addition, Gantz insisted that the Israelis voted for “change” that he wants to materialize by snatching Netanyahu from the post of prime minister. “The people chose change and we have no intention of giving up the leadership” of the government coalition, he said in a statement from Azul y Blanco.

According to the Israeli press, Rivlin, who will meet again with Netanyahu and Gantz on Wednesday night, will propose a coalition government with a rotating prime minister, so that the two can lead the Executive at some time.