With eight of 11 parties elected to the Knesset affirming to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin their support for election winner Benjamin Netanyahu, the recently re-elected prime minister now has the support of 61 MKs, enough to form a coalition.
Though coalition talks are still underway, Netanyahu is believed to be likely to form a government comprised of the Likud (35), Shas (8), United Torah Judaism (8), Union of Right-Wing Parties (5), Kulanu (4) and Yisrael Beytenu (5).
Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party had the support of just 41 Knesset members.
The religious nationalist Union of Right-Wing Parties clinched Netanyahu’s position, leading Rivlin to say that “the scope of my consideration has been almost entirely removed.”
Former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu also recommended that Netanyahu form the government, but the recommendation is not a guarantee Yisrael Beytenu will join the government.
For the first time, those interested in watching the recommendations come in were able to do so via a live broadcast “in the name of transparency.”
Rivlin will officially announce his decision after the final results of the elections are presented by the Central Elections Committee on Wednesday evening. From that moment, the chosen MK will have 28 days to form a government before the option to do so is given to someone else.