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Yamina MKs endorse Bennett for Prime Minister

Representatives from the Yamina party met with President Reuven Rivlin Monday morning, as part of the president’s consultations with party officials to determine which candidate has the best chances of forming a stable governing coalition.

The delegation, which included MKs Ayelet Shaked and Matan Kahane, declined to recommend either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, instead endorsing Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett.

Shaked also urged the president not to hand over the mandate to the Knesset if the first candidate selected fails to form a government within the allotted time. Instead, Shaked called on the president to select a second candidate and grant that candidate 28 days to build a coalition.

Rivlin, however, has suggested he would not select a second candidate if the first fails to form a government, and may return the mandate directly to the Knesset if the first attempt to form a government is unsuccessful.

President Rivlin began consultations with party representatives Monday morning to determine which candidate to grant a mandate to for forming the next government.

The Likud party’s delegation, led by Ministers Tzachi Hanegbi, Ofir Akunis and Amir Ohana and Likud Knesset faction manager Aliza Broshi, met Monday morning with President Rivlin, recommending that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu receive the mandate.

Shortly afterwards, the Yesh Atid delegation, including MKs Orna Barbivai, Meir Cohen and Karin Elharrar, met with President Rivlin, endorsing Yair Lapid for the premiership.

Representatives of the Shas party, including MKs Yoav Ben-Tzur, Ya’akov Margi and Michael Malchieli, met with President Rivlin after the Yesh Atid delegation made its recommendation. The Shas party endorsed Netanyahu for the premiership.

The Blue and White party’s representatives informed President Rivlin Monday that the faction backs Lapid, while United Torah Judaism endorsed Netanyahu.

The Labor party delegation, comprised of MKs Omer Bar-Lev, Gilad Kariv and Emilie Moatti, has recommended that Yair Lapid be given the mandate to form a government.

Thus far, Netanyahu has received the endorsement of 46 MKs, compared to 32 for Yair Lapid and 7 for Naftali Bennett.

Source: Arutz Sheva