Israel’s Netanyahu to receive mandate to form government Sunday: presidency

JERUSALEM (Reuters): Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will receive an official mandate on Sunday to form a new government, Israel’s presidency said, following the completion of consultations with lawmakers.

Sixty-four representatives from Israel’s 120-seat legislature recommended that President Isaac Herzog appoint Netanyahu, a statement said Friday, adding that the former premier has been summoned “to accept the task of forming the government from the president on Sunday.”

Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a cabinet, with a 14-day extension available if required.

His right-wing Likud party and its allies — two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties and the extreme-right Religious Zionism bloc — won 64 seats in the Knesset, or parliament, at the November 1 election — Israel’s fifth in less than four years.

After a period of unprecedented political gridlock, the result has given the veteran premier the majority to form a stable governing coalition, which may also be the most right-wing in Israeli history.

Netanyahu led Israel from 1996 to 1999 and then again from 2009 to 2021 in a record tenure in office.

The 73-year-old remains on trial over corruption allegations, which he denies.