Former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi said at Monday’s meeting of representatives of the Kachol Lavan party with President Reuven Rivlin said that “the elections were stormy, but the people, the sovereign, delivered their message, and we will honor and accept the president’s decision.”
Ashkenazi said that his party recommends its co-chairman Benny Gantz to form the next government and noted: “We are very proud of our achievement in a very short period of time. We are committed to the million and a few thousand who have given us their trust and we will continue to serve them and all the people of Israel.”
Responding to the president’s request that the politicians work to reunite the people, Ashknazi said, “In this context, we will try to nurse and heal some of the things that you mentioned.”
Culture Minister Miri Regev said at a meeting of the Likud representatives with President Rivlin: “This is the first time that the Likud has received 36 Knesset seats for many years. The first time the public expressed a clear and unequivocal confidence in Prime Minister Netanyahu, despite everything that has happened in recent months, including the publication of recommendations by the attorney general.”
Responding to the president’s plea for a unity government, Regev referenced the possible prosecution of Likud Chairman Netanyahu, at which time a Kachol Lavan coalition partner would rush to the exits. Regev told Rivlin that the big Likud victory “means that the public is aware of what is going on around them and said clearly: we believe that the prime minister will form the government with the biggest party, and will continue to lead the State of Israel to great achievements as we have done in the past decade.”
Rivlin asked the Likud representatives what his considerations should be if there were not 61 MKs who recommended Netanyahu, which Likud minister Yariv Levin answered: “It is perfectly clear that the Likud is the largest faction in the Knesset, both in terms of having received the highest number of mandates, so the number of recommendations would also be the highest, therefore the assignment will go to Netanyahu.”
United Torah Judaism Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman told President Rivlin that his faction recommends Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that he had just been informed that his party had risen to eight Knesset seats at the Likud’s expense. “It came from the election committee,” he said.
The Central Elections Committee responded that no such announcement had been made.