Israel’s president on Sunday assigned Benjamin Netanyahu a mandate to form the next government, following November 1 elections that put the ex-premier on track for a stable right-wing coalition.
President Isaac Herzog told Netanyahu — Israel’s longest-serving premier until he was ousted last year — at a ceremony in Jerusalem that he had tasked him with forming a government.
Herzog said that, following his consultations with party leaders, “the result was clear, and the task of forming a government must be assigned to Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Herzog noted Netanyahu’s ongoing trial over corruption allegations, which the right-wing veteran denies.
“I am not oblivious, of course, to the fact that there are ongoing legal proceedings against Mr. Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court, and I do not trivialize this at all,” Herzog said.
But he noted that recent precedent made clear Netanyahu could serve as prime minister while contesting the allegations.