Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday invited opposition leader Yair Lapid to form a new government in Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday acknowledged his inability to form a coalition government within a 28-day deadline.
Local reports state that 56 MKs (Member of Knesset) reportedly expressed their support for former Finance Minister and Yesh Atid's leader Lapid while it takes a majority of 61 seats to form the government in the 120-seat Knesset. Lapid will be granted 28 days for the formation of the coalition and can ask for an extension of two more weeks, as the rule allows.
"It is clear that MK Yair Lapid could form a government that has the confidence of the Knesset, despite there being many difficulties," said Rivlin in a televised statement.
Netanyahu's Likud Party won 30 seats in the March 23 general election while Lapid's party came in with a second majority of 17 parliamentary seats.
The country has witnessed four elections in two years, out of which no political party had a majority to form the government in all the elections. Netanyahu, then, formed a coalition government with his political rival, Benjamin Gantz, leader of the Israeli Resilience Party. Netanyahu's coalition government, however, collapsed after it was unable to pass the 2020-21 budget in a difference of opinion. Gantz had demanded that the budget be approved in the event of a covid spread, which was disagreed with by Netanyahu.
Earlier Gantz ruled out the idea of a coalition with Netanyahu adding that he is committed exclusively to the change bloc.
The country had witnessed several popular uprisings, including the Pink movement, against Netanyahu, who is on trial for three different corruption cases.