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Israel: Netanyahu deadline to form government expires

Israel: Netanyahu deadline to form government expires
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This will be a blow for Mr Netanyahu, Israel s longest-serving leader, but after the inconclusive result of the last general election in March, it is an outcome that was widely predicted, the BBC s Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem.

President Rivlin could now give another member of parliament 28 days to try to build a new government.

That is expected to be Yair Lapid, whose centrist Yesh Atid party came second to Mr Netanyahu s right-wing Likud in the last vote.

He would face a challenge to bridge wide ideological differences between the parties he could ask to join a coalition.

If a nominee asked by the president proves unable to put together a government, he can task parliament with selecting a candidate. If it cannot, Israel will hold another election.

A long period of political stalemate in Israel has been complicated by Mr Netanyahu s ongoing trial for corruption , which he denies. His rivals argue he should not remain in office while facing criminal charges.

Mr Netanyahu is Israel s longest-serving leader, having led five governments since 1996. The last, which saw him share power with the then-main opposition party to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, collapsed in December, triggering the latest elections.
Read more on bbc.com
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