Israeli’s Netanyhu packing to go

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been told to concede failure after he was unable to form a new coalition government by midnight deadline on Tuesday, putting his political future in jeopardy. Netanyahu’s Likud party has been unable to secure a parliamentary majority since late March, with the result of ongoing political deadlock involving four elections in two years.

Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin had already announced he would consult the Knesset’s political party leaders on recommending a candidate for prime minister or name one himself without delays, the Associated Press reported. Netanyahu’s rival Benny Gantz told the PM: “It is now your duty to think of the country, to look honestly at reality and concede your failure.” Although the midnight deadline has passed, Rivlin could decide to extend it for Netanyahu to form a new coalition or he could give rival anti-Netanyahu parties the chance to form a government. It would see the prime minister outsted after 12 consecutive years ousted in office.

What happens now? In the March 23 election, Netanyahu’s Likud emerged as the largest single party, with 30 seats in the 120-member parliament. But to form a government, he needs to have the support of a 61-seat majority and has so far failed to secure it from far-right allies. Netanyahu also faces an ongoing corruption trial, charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery in a series of scandals. He denies the charges.

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