Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he has informed President Reuven Rivlin he has been unable to form a new government following September elections.
He has been the longest-serving Prime Minister in Israeli history. He was Prime Minister since 2009 and previously held the office from 1996 to 1999.
In 1984, Netanyahu was appointed the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, a role he held until 1988. He was subsequently elected to the Knesset, before becoming the leader of Likud in 1993; he led the party to victory at the 1996 election, becoming Israel’s youngest-ever Prime Minister
“A short time ago I informed the president that I was handing back my mandate to try to form a government,” he said in a video posted on his official Facebook page reported AFP.
The centrist party, led by former army chief Benny Gantz, won 33 seats, closely followed by Netanyahu’s Likud, with 32.
But neither has enough support to assemble a 61-seat majority coalition, and they are fiercely divided over the leadership and makeup of any unity government.