19:35 GMT16 May 2021
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The deadline for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government expired on Wednesday at midnight (21:00 GMT Tuesday), as the politician failed to reach an agreement with the chairman of the right-wing party Yamina, Naftali Bennett.

    According to the rules, the party that wins the most votes has to win the support of at least 61 lawmakers of 120. If they don't succeed in doing so, the 24th convocation may be dissolved as well, while a new election may be scheduled for fall.

    "Because of Bennett's refusal to [join] a rightist government, which undoubtedly would have led to creation of a government together with other Knesset members joining, Prime Minister Netanyahu returns the mandate to the president", Likud tweeted several minutes before the mandate expired.

    ​On 23 March, Israel for the fourth time in two years had general elections in a struggle to form a stable governing coalition. Netanyahu's party Likud emerged as winner with 30 out of 120 seats, while his allies won 22 seats, leaving the prime minister 9 seats short of the votes necessary to build a coalition. In early April, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with creating a new government. The country's law gives 28 days to hold coalition-building negotiations.

    Benjamin Netanyahu, government, Israel
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