Netanyahu set to form new govt

TEL AVIV: Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday officially invited former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the new government. Netanyahu, who has won the backing of 64 Members of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), has been assigned the task to form the next government, a statement from the Presidency said.
“I decided to bestow upon you, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, the mandate to form a government,” President Herzog told Netanyahu during a meeting at the president’s residence. Herzog said he was “not unaware” of Netanyahu’s ongoing corruption trial, but that the court had ruled in the past that this was not a barrier to awarding Netanyahu the mandate.
“Israel requires a government that even if its composition does not reflect all worldviews and sections of the legislature, nevertheless knows to lead a process of connection and unification – between all parts of our people – and to conduct a responsible, cautious, open, frank, and attentive dialogue with the other branches of government,” Herzog said. President Herzog had on Friday announced that he will ask Netanyahu to form a new government following consultations with leaders of all the political parties that have been elected to the 25th Knesset in November 1 elections.
The Israeli President started discussions with leaders of the political parties immediately after formally receiving the results of the polls from the Chairman of the Central Elections Committee last Wednesday. –Agencies