Gantz vows to form a coalition government without Netanyahu

Tel Aviv - Leaders of the "Blue White" coalition rejected calls by outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to form a government led by all right-wing parties supporting him.

Netanyahu had signed an agreement with three right-wing and religious parties to negotiate a coalition agreement as a single bloc, but then called the "white blue" to start immediate negotiations without preconditions.

At a meeting of his party in Tel Aviv, the leader of a blue-white coalition, Benny Gantz, said, "Blue White is the largest party. We won 33 seats and Netanyahu did not win 61 seats for the bloc he sought. The negotiations will proceed under my direction with responsibility and discretion. "

Yair Lapid, the number two in the Blue White party, accused Netanyahu of trying to drag the country into a third election, accusing him that this was the goal of a deal with his party.

"If Netanyahu steps aside, we will have a unity government," Lapid said.

"A government for everyone who thinks we need a civil marriage, repealing the minimarket law and public transport on Saturday ... without indictments and without corruption," he said, referring to issues of religion and state.

While Netanyahu has signaled his willingness to participate in the rotation of the premiership, White Blue has repeatedly said he will not sit in a government led by Netanyahu, who faces indictments on corruption charges, and that he will undergo a hearing scheduled for two weeks.

Earlier, Netanyahu called for the formation of a government of national unity, after the elections held this week, the second this year, a clear winner.

Netanyahu was insisting on forming a government of right-wing and religious parties, but the election results so far indicate that he and his most prominent rival, Gantz, will not be able to form a government.

Netanyahu said in a statement: "During the elections, I called for the formation of a right-wing government. But unfortunately the election results show that this is not possible."

He added: "The people have not decided between the two currents," saying that "there is no longer a choice but to form a unity government. He called Gants to meet later today.

He said he opposed a third election.


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