Last-ditch efforts to establish emergency government

Likud, Blue and White negotiating teams meet in attempt to agree on terms for unity government before Benny Gantz's mandate expires.

Mordechai Sones ,

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Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams are meeting this evening to try to reach an agreement that will lead to the formation of a national emergency government.

A breakdown in contacts has been reported in recent hours, but the parties issued a joint statement stating that their negotiating teams are still trying to reach an agreement. Earlier it was announced that Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz would deliver a statement at 8:30 pm tonight.

Kan 11 News reported a proposal discussed between the two parties whereby the Likud would waive its demand for a change in legislation regarding the Judiciary Appointment Committee composition in exchange for a clause in the agreement stipulating that appointments be made with the consent of both parties.

In addition, Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz would pledge to go to elections if the Supreme Court invalidates Binyamin Netanyahu's tenure as prime minister. Officials closely involved in the talks have confirmed that one of the central disputes between the parties lies in the rotation and legal disputes.

Yesterday, Gantz was advised by President Reuven Rivlin that the period to form a government that was granted to him would not be extended; this period expires on Monday at midnight. If the two party leaders have not signed an agreement by then, the Knesset will be given the mandate and the 21-day period during which Knesset Members may form a majority to recommend an agreed candidate begins.