Tel Aviv, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the country's 35th government as no progress had been achieved during negotiations with the Blue and White opposition political alliance.
"I announce that Prime Minister Netanyahu received a mandate from me, despite the fact that he does not have 61 votes sufficient to form a coalition," Rivlin said in a live broadcast on Israeli television following a meeting with Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz.
"Netanyahu’s chances look much better. The decision not to hesitate [with the mandate] was made after the end of my meeting with Netanyahu and Gantz," he said.
“I hope that this political crisis will be resolved and a new government will be put together,” President Rivlin said.At this point, Netanyahu's Likud-led coalition of right-wing and religious parties is six seats short of gaining a ruling majority in the 120-seat parliament.