Netanyahu and Herzog
Netanyahu and HerzogKobi Gideon/GPO

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night officially asked President Isaac Herzog for a two-week extension to conclude negotiations to form a governing coalition.

In his letter, Netanyahu described the intense talks with the various factions that have been conducted so far. "Intensive negotiations were conducted between Likud representatives and the negotiation teams of each of the factions. First, the negotiations focused on fundamental issues, including the basic principles and guidelines of the government which is to be established. Afterwards, meetings were held between the parties regarding the distribution of roles in the 37th government. The meetings were intense and lasted until the wee hours of the night."

He added that "at this point, appendices or letters concerning positions in the 37th government were signed with all the factions that recommended me for the position of Prime Minister (64 MKs). These documents were placed on the Knesset table in accordance with the law."

"Nevertheless, there are still issues in the field of positions that have not been agreed upon (for example, with the Shas and United Torah Judaism factions there is still no detailed job appendix but only a letter) and because all the aforementioned factions demand the signing of full coalition agreements as a condition for the distribution of positions in the government. These agreements include reference to many and complex issues of principle," he said.

Netanyahu noted that the talks are progressing but have not reached the final stage. "As mentioned, the negotiations are in full swing and a lot of progress has been made - however, according to the progress so far - I will need all the days of extension which are within your authority to give me according to law in order for me to form the government."

He concluded his letter with a request of President Herzog: "In light of the above, the Honorable President of the State is requested to extend the period for forming the government by fourteen additional days, and this by virtue of the authority of the President of the State according to the provisions of Section 8 of the Basic Law: The Government."