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Gantz receives official mandate to try to form Israeli government

Published: Updated:

Former military chief Benny Gantz received an official mandate on Wednesday to try to form Israel’s next government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed, with no easy path to breaking a political deadlock.

Assigned the task by President Reuven Rivlin at a televised ceremony, Gantz, head of the centrist Blue and White party, will have 28 days to put together an administration.

Failure could lead to Israel’s third ballot within a year after inconclusive elections in April and September.

Netanyahu, a fourth-term conservative whose party tied with Gantz’s in September’s election, told Rivlin on Monday he was giving up on forming the government after failing to win support from a majority of parliament.