Gantz says he wants to be prime minister of a unity government

Israeli President Reouven Rivlin will start consultations on Sunday to appoint the future Prime Minister, while rivals Benyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are both eyeing the post.

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A campaign poster featuring Benny Gantz, Tel Aviv, Israel, 9 September. AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS

After Benyamin Netanyahu surprised everyone on Thursday, September 19 in Israel, calling on his rival to form a national unity government, Benny Gantz was quick to respond. Agree for such a government that would take the country out of political impasse, but on the condition of being prime minister.

"Israelis want a unity government"said Mr. Gantz in the afternoon. But "I will form this government with me at its head. (…) We will listen to everyone, but we will not accept dictating things to us "he added before a meeting with the executives of his training. "The Blue White Party won and, as I speak, we have 33 seats while Netanyahu did not get the majority to form a coalition as he hoped.", said the former chief of staff of the Israeli army.

Two days after the legislative elections, no majority has emerged. The still provisional results credit Netanyahu's Likud of 32 seats out of 120 in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), as against 33 for the Kahol Lavan party (Blue White) of former General Benny Gantz. And by adding their respective and potential allies, religious parties and / or very marked right for Mr. Netanyahu, and left or Arab formations, for Mr. Gantz, the meter falls to 56 deputies in each camp, under the bar 61 to get a majority in the Knesset.

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"There is no other choice"

"In the elections, I called for the establishment of a right-wing governmentsaid, Thursday morning, Mr. Netanyahu in a video message. Unfortunately, the election results show that this is not possible. The people did not decide between the two blocks. Therefore, there is no choice but to form a union government, as wide as possible. (…) Benny, we need to put in place the widest possible unity government today. The people expect us to take responsibility and act in cooperation. "

On Wednesday evening, however, the Israeli prime minister claimed that the country had only two choices: either a right-wing government led by him or a "Dangerous government based on Arab parties", an indirect attack on Mr Gantz, who had promised to open talks with Arab formations in the hope of reaching a coalition

The Israeli president, Réouven Rivlin, will start on Sunday "A round of consultations with all the Knesset elected parties", have already announced his services. he "Will then continue discussions with the recommended candidates to form the government". Following these two-day consultations, Rivlin will choose between the two contenders for the position of prime minister.

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