Israel’s Lieberman says not backing Netanyahu or Gantz for PM

Lieberman has insisted on a unity government between his party, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White. (File photo: AFP)

Israeli ex-defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday he will not endorse either Benjamin Netanyahu or Benny Gantz for prime minister following last week’s deadlocked elections.

Lieberman, who could potentially play a kingmaker role, spoke to journalists as President Reuven Rivlin began consulting political parties on who they will back for prime minister.

A delegation from Lieberman’s secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party was due to meet Rivlin later Sunday.

Yisrael Beitenu won eight seats in the 120-seat parliament in Tuesday’s election.

Lieberman has insisted on a unity government between his party, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud and Gantz’s centrist Blue and White.

RELATED: Israel begins cutting Palestinian electricity, citing debts

He said he could not for now back Netanyahu because he is willing to form a coalition with Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, which he accuses of seeking to impose religious law on the secular population.

Lieberman also said he could not back Gantz for now because he may reach a deal with either the ultra-Orthodox or Israel’s Arab parties, which he called “enemies.”

SHOW MORE
Last Update: 07:00 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
Top