Gantz: Blue and White will back Yair Lapid as PM

Blue and White to recommend Yesh Atid chief for the premiership in consultations with President Rivlin. Shas nominates Netanyahu.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gantz (left) and Lapid (right)
Gantz (left) and Lapid (right)
צילום: שריה דיאמנט

Defense Minister and Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz announced Monday morning that his faction will recommend Yesh Atid chief and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid for the premiership in consultations with President Reuven Rivlin.

Prior to his announcement, Gantz spoke with Lapid, informing him of his plans to endorse Lapid.

“As we promised, this morning too, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that an honest government is established, and that the mandate to form a government won’t go to Netanyahu, who is totally consumed with his trial, which he appeared in court for this morning.”

“I call on all members of the change bloc to recommend this morning MK Lapid, in order to prevent Netanyahu from receiving the mandate, and to continue discussions for the formation of a healing and reconciliation government that Israeli citizens need so badly.”

“In any event, whatever the recommendations will be and whatever the president’s nomination will be, I will continue to work to unite the change bloc and to bridge the various divides.”

President Rivlin began consultations with party representatives Monday morning to determine which candidate to grant a mandate to for forming the next government.

The Likud party’s delegation, led by Ministers Tzachi Hanegbi, Ofir Akunis and Amir Ohana and Likud Knesset faction manager Aliza Broshi, met Monday morning with President Rivlin, recommending that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receive the mandate.

Shortly afterwards, the Yesh Atid delegation, including MKs Orna Barbivai, Meir Cohen and Karin Elharrar, met with President Rivlin, endorsing Yair Lapid for the premiership.

Representatives of the Shas party, including MKs Yoav Ben-Tzur, Ya’akov Margi and Michael Malchieli, met with President Rivlin after the Yesh Atid delegation made its recommendation. The Shas party endorsed Netanyahu for the premiership.

Thus far, Netanyahu has received the endorsement of 39 MKs, compared to 17 for Yair Lapid.