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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin (R) attend a press conference at the president's residence in Jerusalem on April 20, 2015

    Israeli President Gives Netanyahu Two Weeks to Form New Coalition Gov't

    © AFP 2019 / POOL / ABIR SULTAN
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    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin agreed to give two more weeks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new coalition government.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin endorsed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request to extend for two weeks a deadline to form a new coalition government, local media reported on Monday.

    “We have moved forward, and we are well on our way, but more time is needed to make sure the government is a stable one, and to reach agreement on a number of important issues that will enable us to tackle the challenges facing the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said at a joint press conference with Rivlin in Jerusalem, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

    The Israeli president urged Netanyahu to finish the coalition negotiations in the near future as this 14-days extension, granted until May 7, is the only option under the law left open to Netanyahu, since he failed to conclude the deal in the first four weeks of talks.

    If Netanyahu fails to form a government by May 7, Rivlin will pass the right to form a governing coalition to another Knesset’s member, ordering a new general election if that attempt fails as well.

    Netanyahu's Likud party won 30 seats in the Israeli Parliament, the 120-seat strong Knesset, in last March's elections.

    Other smaller parties, traditional allies of Netanyahu, could secure a potential majority for him of 67 seats, if they give him their backing.

    However, the negotiations are currently struggling due to these parties’ ambitious demands for ministerial posts in the new government.

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    Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuven Rivlin, Israel
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