President Reuven Rivlin today, Wednesday, released a video on social media in which he outlines the options available to him by law in the wake of the current difficulties in forming a ruling coalition.
“My fellow citizens: I receive and read all your inquiries about forming the government. In light of the volume of inquiries that we have received on the subject, it is important for me to explain what the legal authority of the president is.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given 28 days to form a government, at the end of which he was given an additional 14 days, according to the law, which end today at midnight. If the government is not formed by midnight tonight I have two options and I must take one of them within three days. The first option is to entrust any other Knesset member, except for a Knesset member who has already had the opportunity and has not succeeded. The second option is to inform the Speaker of the Knesset that there is no possibility of forming a government and that there is no alternative to calling elections.
To make the decision, I will again invite the representatives of the factions to consult. Incidentally, you should know that if I inform the Knesset Speaker that I do not believe another Knesset member could form a government Knesset members can collect 61 signatures and request that any one of the 120 members of Knesset, including those who have already had the opportunity, be given the mandate to form a government.
You are probably wondering how this relates to what is going on at the moment in the Knesset. Well, it does not. Parallel to my authority as president the Knesset can enact a law to disperse the Knesset. If the law to disperse of the Knesset passes its second and third reading with a majority of Members of the Knesset - at least 61 - the procedures for forming a government will cease. The Knesset will be dispersed, and unfortunately we will go to another election campaign.
I, for my part, will do everything in my power to prevent the State of Israel from going to another election campaign. Thank you for listening.”