Netanyahu given two more weeks to form government

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for an additional two weeks in which to form a government.

Netanyahu asked for the additional time in a meeting on April 20 with Rivlin. The prime minister, whose Likud Party won the most votes in last month’s election, is entitled to the extra time under Israeli law, according to the President’s Office.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu told Rivlin that progress had been made. “However, I require additional time in order for the government to be stable and so that we might reach agreement on important issues that will aid us in meeting the challenges facing the State of Israel,” he said.

Netanyahu has spent 28 days trying to form a ruling government coalition. As of midweek, Likud had not signed coalition agreements with any parties. Likud representatives are negotiating with the Yisrael Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. — jta