Netanyahu: I Will Not Form a Unity Government

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu votes for the 20th Knesset, reassures voters his government will be 'nationalist.'

Tova Dvorin , | updated: 8:04 AM

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu votes
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu votes
Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/FLASH90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not form a unity government with Labor-Hatnua chairman Yitzhak Herzog, he reiterated shortly after voting Tuesday. 

"There will not be a unity government with Labor," Netanyahu stated, shortly after voting at a Jerusalem school. "I will form a nationalist government." 

Speculation has been rampant over who Netanyahu would choose as a government partner, after President Reuven Rivlin - who is tasked with picking the party leader responsible for forming a coalition - stated three times in the past several weeks that it would be the leader most capable of forming a government, not the largest party, who would be given the responsibility.

Analysts suggest that, given this, Herzog may be passed over for the chance to become prime minister despite polls suggesting Labor-Hatnua could win the most seats in the 20th Knesset. 

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett has stated on multiple occasions that he believes Netanyahu will approach Labor first, citing the 2013 elections, Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni's disappearance from the public eye and subsequent backing down from premier candidacy, and Likud's urging voters away from other right-wing parties. 

However, Netanyahu has stated throughout the campaign, and again Monday night, that he has no interest in approaching Labor - which, for its own part, has hinted this week that a unity government will only be an option if Herzog is selected as the potential prime minister. 

Herzog stated Monday night that talk of a unity government is "nonsense"; on Sunday, he revealed in an in-depth interview to Walla! News that he only plans on participating in a unity government if Netanyahu were serving under his rule - not in the reverse situation. 

"I am dealing only in replacing Netanyahu - period," he claimed.