Israeli president to task Gantz with forming gov’t

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin decided Tuesday to task opposition leader Benny Gantz with forming a new government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to do so.

The President’s Residence said in a statement that Rivlin would give the mandate for forming a government to Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, on Wednesday evening.

Gantz will have 28 days to try to form a governing coalition.

The Israeli president’s decision came after Netanyahu announced on Monday he had failed to form a coalition.

Israel’s political system has been paralyzed since the closely-fought elections on Sept. 17 with no party winning enough votes to form a majority coalition in the 120-seat parliament, or Knesset.

The elections were the second time Israelis cast their votes in five months. Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government following the April elections, which led to the holding of new elections in September.