Israeli president Herzog to consult political parties on new government

Veteran prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu likely to return as premier

Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be chosen to form a new government. Bloomberg
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Israel's President Isaac Herzog said on Tuesday he will begin consulting all elected parties on Wednesday before handing a candidate the responsibility of forming the next government.

The meetings, planned over three days, will begin after the president receives the official results of Israel's fifth election in less than four years.

Once the president picks a candidate to assemble a new government, the nominee will have 28 days to talk to potential coalition partners, with a possible 14-day extension.

The final tally published by the Central Elections Committee showed veteran leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial over corruption charges he denies, likely to receive the nomination and secure a comeback.

He is now buoyed by far-right and religious parties that include ultranationalist legislator Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Mr Netanyahu held an informal meeting with Mr Ben-Gvir on Monday, where the two discussed forming "a full right wing government", Mr Ben-Gvir said in tweet.

Mr Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in 2007 of racist incitement against Arabs and support for Kach, a group on the Israeli and US terrorism blacklists, has said he wants to be police minister.

On Monday, he told Israeli newspaper Hayom that he has "grown up".

"I've grown up, I've moderated and I've come to understand that life is more complicated," the 46-year-old said, although he made no specific reference to Palestinians.

Last month, Palestinian-Israelis called for a boycott of clothing company Zara after it hosted Mr Ben-Gvir for a campaign event.

Updated: November 09, 2022, 7:13 AM