Likud Officials:
'Netanyahu doesn't want to be first in line to form gov't'

Senior Likud officials say Prime Minister Netanyahu wants his opponents to get first mandate to form government - expecting them to fail.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

בנימין נתניהו
בנימין נתניהו
צילום: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is hoping that one of his opponents will receive the first mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to try to form a governing coalition, senior Likud officials told Israel Hayom.

According to the report published Wednesday morning, the Likud officials said Netanyahu would prefer not to be first to attempt to form a coalition since "Lapid's failure to do so would give the Prime Minister the best chances of getting it done."

While they acknowledged that there is some danger in this approach, with a chance that Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid could succeed in cobbling together a 61-seat majority, if Lapid fails to do so, opposition to a new Netanyahu government could collapse.

However, some of the Likud officials also voiced concern that President Rivlin, a close associate of Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa'ar, would provide Sa'ar a say in coalition talks, thus endangering the Prime Minister's chances.

President Rivlin is slated to receive the final election results for Israel's 24th Knesset at 11:00 am Wednesday.

The President will make a statement alongside head of the Election Committee, judge Uzi Fogelman at that time.

Rivlin is to hold talks with heads of all the party lists selected for the coming Knesset on Monday and provide one of them the initial opportunity to form a governing coalition in the coming weeks.