Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Israeli President Shimon Peres shake hands at the conclusion of a brief ceremony in the president' Jerusalem residence, Feb. 2, 2013. Israeli President Shimon Peres tasked incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening with the task of forming a new government, amid the results of the Jan. 22 national elections. (Xinhua/pool/Jim Hollander)
JERUSALEM, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres tasked incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening with the task of forming a new government, amid the results of the Jan. 22 national elections.
The two met at the presidential residence in Jerusalem Saturday evening, after Peres received recommendations from 82 members of Knesset (parliament) who named Netanyahu the most suitable candidate for the task.
"After receiving the recommendations of 82 elected members of the 19th Knesset, I have decided to task incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with forming the next government," Peres said during a press conference Saturday evening.
"The state of Israel needs diplomatic and financial stability in order to have the ability to make the required decisions regarding issues on the agenda like the deficit, the need to equalize the burden in the Israeli society and the need to renew the peace process with the Palestinians," Peres added. "Therefore, the state needs a new government as soon as possible, to start to roll up its sleeves and work in order to face these challenges," Peres added.
Netanyahu thanked Peres and the Knesset members who recommended him for the task, acknowledging it as a "great privilege and responsibility" to be nominated to the task for the third time in Israel's history.
He added he will strive to build a strong and wide government to handle the financial and security challenges facing Israel at present time.
According to the Israeli law, Netanyahu has 28 days to create his future government. If he hits a dead-end he is eligible to receive an extra two-week extension. If he does not comply with the task by this time, a new election would be announced.
Unofficial talks between politicians regarding the make-up of the future government were underway in the past week.
JERUSALEM, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- After all of the votes in the Israeli parliamentary elections held on Tuesday were counted, it became clear that while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud- Yisrael Beitenu bloc was to become the largest party in the next parliament, his position would be significantly weaker than before the elections.
When Netanyahu in last October announced that Israel would head to early elections, his Likud party together with Yisrael Beinteinu party had 42 of the 120 seats in the Knesset (parliament) , but in the new one they will only have 31. Full story