Netanyahu and Gantz
Netanyahu and Gantz Flash90

Officials in the Blue and White party are hoping Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be the first candidate to be tasked with forming a new coalition government, according to media reports on Sunday night.

Sources in Blue and White said that they prefer the Likud lead the way in attempting to form a coalition since they believe that the first candidate has a much a higher chance of failure. By the time the second candidate gets a chance to pull together a coalition, there will be more room for negotiation due to the public demand to avoid a third election - particularly if Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit finalizes the indictments against Netanyahu by that point.

In order to convince Rivlin to choose Netanyahu first, Blue and White is hoping to disqualify three out of the 13 votes from the Arab Joint List to recommend Gantz as prime minister, according to a Maariv report.

Blue and White argued that Balad MKs-elect expressed scathing criticism against the decision to recommend Gantz. If Balad's recommendations aren't counted, then Gantz will have received 54 recommendation for prime minister versus the 55 Netanyahu should receive from Likud, Yamina, Shas and United Torah Judaism.

The choice is ultimately up to President Reuven Rivlin and sources in the President's Residence told Haaretz that Rivlin would not take Blue and White's preference into consideration when choosing a candidate.

The President's Residence stated that "We are counting the recommendation of the Arab Joint List to support Benny Gantz as the support of 13 MKs." MK Ayman Odeh told Rivlin that even if there are differences of opinion in the Joint List, the bloc's decision is binding on everyone.

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