Netanyahu to meet Rivlin, seek extension for coalition building

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Reuven Rivlin to request an extension in forming a ruling government coalition.

The two leaders are scheduled to meet on Monday at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the President’s Office said in a statement issued Sunday afternoon.

Under Israeli law, the head of the party who garnered the most votes in national elections has 28 days to form a coalition and can request an extension of 14 days. The 28 days ends on Tuesday.

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As of Sunday afternoon, Likud had not signed coalition agreements with any parties. Likud Party representatives are negotiating with the Yisrael Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Kulanu, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the left-wing  Zionist Union coalition, which received the second highest vote total, continued to assert over the weekend that he would not join a unity government and would remain in the opposition working to force Netanyahu from power.