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Rivlin to task Gantz with forming government in official handover

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Chairman of the Blue and White party Benny Gantz visits central Rishon Lezion on April 9. (Flash90 photo)

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin will officially ask Benny Gantz to form a government.

Rivlin will give the mandate to Gantz, head of the Blue and White faction, tonight at the President’s office in Jerusalem, a statement from Rivlin’s office said.

The charge comes after the director-general of the president’s office, Harel Tubi, on Tuesday contacted the heads of all the factions in Knesset to inform them that Rivlin planned to transfer the mandate to form the government to Gantz.

The factions “all remain committed to their original positions,” the statement said.

After Rivlin signs the letter of appointment on Wednesday evening, he and Gantz will make public statements.

Along with the mandate, Gantz will receive a security detail from the state.

The charge comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday returned the mandate to Rivlin, saying he was unable to form a majority government coalition. It will be the first time in more than a decade that someone other than Netanyahu will attempt to form a government.

Gantz will now have 28 days to try to form a government coalition. If he fails to form a government, Knesset members have 21 days to advise Rivlin of their support for another lawmaker to form a government, and Rivlin could task a third person with the mandate.

If that fails, Israel will go to a third national election, which would occur in March 2020.

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