Sunday 8 December 2019

Kingmaker warns of new election after ruling out deal

 

Gantz's 28 days to form a government expired last night. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen
Gantz's 28 days to form a government expired last night. Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Jeffrey Heller

Israel moved closer to a new election yesterday after kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman declined to back either prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu or challenger Benny Gantz.

Mr Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, failed to put together a coalition after the inconclusive September election. Mr Gantz, of the centrist Blue and White, was handed the task by president Reuven Rivlin next but his 28 days to form a government expired last night.

There was no sign of progress toward a Rivlin-proposed deal for a national unity government after weeks of talks.

Mr Lieberman, who heads the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party, said "both [Mr Netanyahu and Mr Gantz] were guilty" in failing to agree on a Likud-Blue and White alliance. "As things stand now, we are on the way to another election," he added.

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