Netanyahu receives enough support to remain prime minister

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to members of the foreign media during the annual toast for the new year in Jerusalem January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

ISRAEL (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received enough support on Tuesday for President Reuven Rivlin to form a new government in light of the legislative elections.

Rivlin, who is due to be appointed to the task, is due to meet with reporters on Wednesday at 19:00 (1600 GMT).

If he is appointed, Netanyahu must negotiate with various political parties to form a government coalition that will begin his fifth term. But negotiations will not be easy because of the many demands and conflicts of interest.

Netanyahu has 28 days to form his government, which could last 14 days.

On Monday and Tuesday, the Israeli president met with representatives of each of the parties represented in the next parliament.

The right-wing parties and religious parties, which constitute an absolute majority in the Knesset (65 out of 120 seats), have called on Netanyahu. His main opponent, Benny Gantz, has 45 MPs.

“This recommendation is a popular majority for the same candidate,” Rivlin said.

For his part, former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced conditional support for Netanyahu.

Lieberman has stipulated that the next government should adopt a law that would force religious extremists to serve in the military, such as secularists.

The head of the National Party, “Yisrael Beiteinu,” in his announcement to support Netanyahu until Monday evening. The party has told President Reuven Rivlin his support for Netanyahu and that the party’s five seats will be crucial for the prime minister, who will form the next coalition.

Lieberman proposed a bill during his tenure as defense minister to force religious militants into military service, saying he would remain in the opposition and was ready to go to new elections if he did not receive assurances on his proposal.

Religious Jews studying in religious seminaries are now exempt from mandatory military service, which many Israelis consider unfair.

Attempts to amend the law have been met with strong opposition from religiously hardline political parties that will control 15 seats.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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