The March 23 vote revolved around whether the longest-serving Israeli prime minister remains fit to continue in office. He produced no ruling majority in the 120-seat Knesset, leaving Rivlin to choose a party leader most likely to form a coalition. Parliament would be sworn in later Tuesday.
Netanyahu was not expected to appear in court on Tuesday, but his increasingly weakened future went through both arenas.
In politics, his Likud party won more seats in the election but came out with very little.
In court, where he faces fraud, breach of trust and bribery charges in three separate cases, public opinion was not flattering. A key witness on Monday put Netanyahu as a leader obsessed with the image who forced a prominent news site to help his family and slander his opponents.
Netanyahu denies all allegations and in a speech on national television accused prosecutors of persecuting him in an attempt to oust him from office.
That’s what a coup attempt looks like, he said.
While a decision could be months or even years away, the proceedings are expected to take place up to three days a week, an embarrassing and time-consuming distraction that is sure to add to the calls for Netanyahu to step down.
A few miles (miles) away, Rivlin consulted with the various parties elected to parliament before he chose a candidate to form a new government. The talks risked plunging the country into an unprecedented election for the fifth time in a row.
Israeli media reported that Rivlin was considering another factor alluding to Netanyahu’s legal difficulties. In a meeting with the Likud party, Rivlin said there may be a moral component to electing a prime minister, but he did not know if that factor depended on him or the Supreme Court.
With both Netanyahu and his main rival, Yair Lapid, failing to win the support of a majority of lawmakers, Rivlin faces the difficult task of choosing the leader most likely to be able to form a ruling coalition with 61 votes. .
Late Wednesday, Lapid called on the countries’ anti-Netanyahu factions, a group of parties with wide-ranging ideological differences, to put aside their differences and form a unity government. He said he had even offered Naftali Bennett, the leader of a small right-wing party, a power-sharing rotation, with Bennett serving first as prime minister.
Anyone who has seen Netanyahu’s reckless work today understands that he cannot continue in his work, Lapid said on Tuesday.
Netanyahu spent part of Monday in court, where the trial phase of his trial took place. The session focused on the most serious case against Netanyahu in which he is accused of promoting regulations that gave hundreds of millions of dollars in profits to Bezeq Telecom in exchange for positive coverage on the firm’s well-known news site, Walla.
Ilan Yeshua, Wallas’ former editor-in-chief, described a system in which Bezeqs owners Shaul and Iris Elovitch repeatedly pressured him to publish favorable things about Netanyahu and to slander rivals of the prime minister.
The explanation given by the couple? That is what the prime minister wanted, he said.
In his televised statement, Netanyahu accused prosecutors of conducting a witch hunt against him.
The intertwined political question remained pending. Rivlin has until midnight Wednesday to elect a designated prime minister who will be left with up to six weeks to form a coalition. If he thinks there is no clear election, he can also refer the matter to the Knesset, ordering lawmakers to elect a member as prime minister or force another election.
Associated Press writer Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report from Jerusalem.
Follow Kellman on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/APLaurieKellman
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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