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November 6, 2022 3:21 pm
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Israel’s President Herzog to Kick Off Talks Next Week on Candidate to Form Next Government

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli voter cast a ballot during Israel’s fifth election in less than four years at a polling station in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on November 1, 2022. – Israelis began voting today as polling stations opened at 0500 GMT for the latest legislative vote, with veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu campaigning for a comeback alongside far-right allies. Photo by JACK GUEZ/Pool via REUTERS

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog will kick off consultation meetings with party leaders on Wednesday before announcing the Knesset member who will be tasked with forming the next government.

“The consultation process, stipulated by law, will be broadcast live from the President’s Residence, after which President Isaac Herzog will announce the candidate to whom he will assign the task of forming a government,” said Eyal Shviki, Director-General of the Office of the President.

In accordance with Israeli law, Herzog must hold talks, make a decision, and grant the mandate to form a government to a Knesset member no later than Nov. 16. Once assigned, the Knesset member has twenty-eight days to form a new government.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu is most likely to be tasked with forming a governing coalition after his Likud party last week emerged as the largest party in parliament with 32 seats. Together with allied right-wing parties, the Netanyahu bloc has a majority of 64 seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament.

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“With the election over and the dust settled – the bickering between the camps – we need to get out of the trenches and know how to work together,” said Netanyahu speaking at the Knesset’s official memorial ceremony to mark 27 years since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. “Differences of opinion will not disappear – and that’s fine.”

“On a few subjects we have profound disagreements, and they need to be managed responsibly and with consideration,” he continued. “Arguing is allowed, you don’t have to agree on everything – but on the other hand, we need to know what we do agree on – what most of us agree on.”

The longest serving leader is expected to form a government with ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, as well as with the far-right Religious Zionism party co-led by Itamar Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit and Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism.

Ahead of the consultations, Netanyahu on Sunday began informal individual meetings with party leaders of his bloc to talk about their demands to enter the coalition which will form the next government, which political analysts say would be Israel’s most right-wing government in its history.

Netanyahu met with United Torah Judaism’s Moshe Gafni in Jerusalem. Following the meeting with Netanyahu, Gafni convened with Smotrich at the Knesset which was described in Israeli media as a “cooperation” meeting in preparation for the formation of the next government.

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