Middle East

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu gives up effort to form new government

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the country's president Monday he could not form a new government following deadlocked September elections, making way for his opponent Benny Gantz to try.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday he was giving up his effort to form a new government after failing to secure a majority coalition in parliament following an inconclusive election in September.

Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, said he was returning the mandate back to Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin after "working unceasingly ... to establish a broad unity government".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Mr Rivlin says he will ask Gantz to try to form government.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Mr Rivlin says he will ask Gantz to try to form government.
AAP

Mr Rivlin said he will now hold consultations with the various political parties to tell them he intends to task Netanyahu's centrist rival Benny Gantz with the job of putting together a new government.

Gantz's Blue and White party was the largest to emerge from the 17 September ballot, though he also has no clear path to a parliamentary majority.

Should he also fail to bring in enough partners it would almost certainly lead to another general election, the third since April. 

More to come. 

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