Israel's president: Talks about PM choice to begin Monday

Israel's president: Talks about PM choice to begin Monday
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to his supporters after polls for Israel's general elections closed in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s president says he will receive party representatives at his residence on Monday to hear their recommendations for who should be the next prime minister.

President Reuven Rivlin’s office announced Friday he will consult with the heads of all elected factions, in order of largest to smallest, about their choices.

Rivlin, whose role is otherwise ceremonial, then picks the candidate he believes has the best chance of assembling a parliamentary majority, and ask that leader to form a government within 42 days.

That candidate looks to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A final tally of votes late Thursday showed Netanyahu’s Likud party capturing 36 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Together with nationalist and Jewish ultra-Orthodox parties, which Netanyahu calls his “natural allies,” his right-wing bloc commands a 65-55 parliamentary majority.