'With these gaps in the polls Gantz will be the next PM'

Dr. Eyal Levin believes president will ask the leader of largest party to form next coalition, not the leader with the most recommendations.

Benny Toker ,

The leaders of the 'Blue and White' party
The leaders of the 'Blue and White' party
Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Dr. Eyal Levin of the political science department at Ariel University, believes that President Reuven Rivlin will select the leader of the largest party to be the next prime minister rather than the leader of the largest political bloc.

If the election plays out as current polls indicate, the result would be Benny Gantz becoming prime minister even though the right-wing bloc would win more seats than the bloc he leads.

"At the moment, Gantz's party has the advantage. It calls itself a centrist party, but it is actually the heirs of the Labor Party," Dr. Levin stated.

"The president can impose on Gantz the task of forming the government even if there are more recommendations for Netanyahu, because the president can say that there is a larger party here and he wants to give it the chance.

According to Dr. Levin, the president has autonomy to decide who will lay the task of forming the government, even if the second candidate receives a number of higher recommendations. "Tzipi Livni received the task of assembling [the coalition] from the president even though the second bloc was larger."

"Netanyahu knows very well that Benny Gantz is not Tzipi Livni and he will succeed in breaking the blocs and forming a government," Levin said. "Gantz is not Tzipi Livni who did not get along with Shas. They say that Shas and the haredim are right-wing and will not sit with Lapid. So they say. After the election, they say other things."

The attorney general's recommendations regarding the Netanyahu files can serve the prime minister in the election campaign: "Netanyahu needs his partners to be small so that he will be bigger than Gantz. In a sense, the publication of the attorney general's recommendations will be in his favor because this is his chance to present himself as being persecuted."

Dr. Levin believes that the public did wait for Mandelblit's decision to formulate its opinion on Netanyahu. "The public does not understand the numbers and the difference between fraud and breach of trust or bribery. For the public it's either guilty or not. There are those who think that Netanyahu is being persecuted and the other side who thinks he is a criminal and does not care what the attorney general says. People did not wait to hear Mandelblit. There is a clear division here between those who claim that there is an elite here who has taken over the media and the courts, and therefore they are persecuting Netanyahu and there is the other side who claims that Netanyahu is a criminal who broke the law. "