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President Rivlin expected to hand mandate directly to Knesset

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has two weeks remaining from his 28-day mandate for secure majority backing in the Knesset for a new government, but has yet to make significant progress in breaking the ongoing political stalemate.

According to a report Wednesday morning in Israel Hayom which cited officials close to the president, should Netanyahu fail to build a new government by the end of the 28-day mandate, President Reuven Rivlin is expected to hand over the mandate directly to the Knesset, without nominating a second candidate.

Before he finalizes his decision, however, Rivlin will likely hold telephone consultations with Knesset faction leaders to receive an update on the situation in the Knesset regarding support for the various candidates for the premiership.

Should the Knesset receive the mandate and fail to select a prime minister within the time allotted, the 24th Knesset will be dissolved and Israel will hold its fifth general election in just over two years.

Alternatively, Prime Minister Netanyahu could request a 14-day extension of his mandate to form a government.

Should he do so, Netanyahu will likely be asked to provide details of his plan to form a new government, and why it has a good chance of succeeding.

Source: Arutz Sheva