President Rivlin tasks Knesset to 'prevent a fourth round of elections'

President Rivlin informed Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz that he is entrusting the Knesset with the task of forming a government

Arutz Sheva ,

Gantz and Rivlin
Gantz and Rivlin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin this morning (Thursday) informed Chairman of 'Blue and White', Speaker of the Knesset Benny Gantz, that he is entrusting the Knesset with the task of forming a government.

At this point, according to Article 10 (a) of Basic Law: The Government (2001), a majority of members of Knesset may request, in writing, that the President of the State assign the task of forming a government to a particular Knesset Member, who so agreed in writing, all within 21 days of the president’s announcement.

In his letter to the Speaker of the Knesset, the president wrote, “We are in a third consecutive election campaign this year, without any elected official able to form a government that would have the confidence of the Knesset. As president, it is my duty according to Basic Law: The Government (2001) [hereinafter ‘the Basic Law’] to act in a way that a government will be formed in Israel, as soon as possible, and in accordance with this I have used my authority in the elections for the 23rd Knesset.”

“In light of the situation that these third elections have produced as it appears to me at this time, according to which neither of the candidates has the support of a majority of Knesset Members in a way that allows them to secure the confidence of the Knesset and form a government, including in the form of a national unity government, and obligated by the meaning of Basic Law: The Government (2001), to bring about as soon as possible the formation of a government that will enjoy the confidence of the Knesset, I am informing you that I do not see the possibility of forming a government and I entrust the formation of a government to the Knesset, which is entitled to act under Article 10(a) of this law. I hope that the Knesset Members will be able to form a majority in such a way that a government can be formed as soon as possible, and to prevent a fourth round of elections.”

President Rivlin’s letter to the Speaker of the Knesset in full:

Sir,

Firstly, I would like to note that this letter is directed to you as Speaker of the Knesset, according to Article 9(a) of Basic Law: The Government (2001).

We are in a third consecutive election campaign this year, without any elected official able to form a government that would have the confidence of the Knesset. As president, it is my duty according to Basic Law: The Government (2001) [hereinafter ‘the Basic Law’] to act in a way that a government will be formed in Israel, as soon as possible, and in accordance with this I have used my authority in the elections for the 23rd Knesset.

On 16 March 2002, in accordance with Article 7 of the Basic Law, after consulting with representatives of the parties represented in the new Knesset, and after 61 Knesset Members requested to grant the task of forming a government to MK Gantz, I entrusted MK Gantz with the task of forming a government.

According to Article 8 of the Basic Law, a Knesset Member who has been entrusted with the task of forming a government has a period of 28 days to do so.

On 11 April 2020, MK Gantz submitted a request to me to extend this period by 14 days, according to the authority granted to me in Article 8 of the Basic Law. In his request for an extension, MK Gantz stated that he was doing everything possible to form a government with the Likud party and that he required additional time to conclude an agreement. MK Gantz also noted in his request that he had encountered difficulties in holding the negotiations because of the coronavirus outbreak and because of the holiday period.

On 12 April 2020, I decided not to accede to MK Gantz’s request for an extension, having also spoken to MK Netanyahu who did not confirm that the sides were close to an agreement that would result in a national unity government. I noted that if, in the time left of the 28-day period, the circumstances changed and a further request for an extension was brought to me in order to help reach an agreement, I would reconsider my decision.

On 13 April 2020, before midnight, I acceded to the request of MK Gantz, which was presented by agreement of both sides, and on the understanding that they were close to an agreement, I extended the period until midnight of 15 April 2020.

Last night, the period of time given to MK Gantz expired.

According to Article 9(a) of the Basic Law, when the period of time given to a Knesset Member expires and he has not informed the president that he has formed a government, the president is authorized to entrust the formation of a government on another Knesset Member or to inform the Speaker of the Knesset that he does not see the possibility of a government being formed.

In light of the situation that these third elections have produced as it appears to me, according to which neither of the candidates has the support of a majority of Knesset Members in a way that allows them to secure the confidence of the Knesset and form a government, including in the form of a national unity government, and obligated by the meaning of Basic Law: The Government (2001), to bring about as soon as possible the formation of a government that will enjoy the confidence of the Knesset, I am informing you that I do not see the possibility of forming a government and I entrust the formation of a government to the Knesset, which is entitled to act under Article 10(a) of this law.

Article 10(a) of the Basic Law states that a majority of the members of Knesset may request, in writing, that the President of the State assign the task to a particular member of the Knesset, who so agreed in writing, all within 21 days of the president's announcement.

I hope that the Knesset Members will be able to form a majority in such a way that a government can be formed as soon as possible, and to prevent a fourth round of elections.



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