Tue | Dec 10, 2019

Arab lawmakers endorse Gantz for PM

Published:Monday | September 23, 2019 | 12:10 AM
From left: Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, Esther Hayut, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

JERUSALEM (AP):

The Arab bloc in Israel’s parliament has endorsed Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz for prime minister.

With that nod, Gantz looks to edge by incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu in the number of lawmakers who will endorse him.

Representatives of the Joint List of Arab parties told President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday that they recommend the former military chief. This is the first time since 1992 that Arab parties have endorsed a candidate for prime minister.

Israel’s largely ceremonial president is tasked with picking the politician with the best chance of forming a stable coalition government. While usually a formality, this time Rivlin plays a key role after an election earlier this month in which neither of the top candidates has an outright majority of 61 members of the 120-seat parliament.

Kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman has endorsed neither of the candidates.