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Israel's Netanyahu given 14 more days to form government

Israel's Netanyahu given 14 more days to form government
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Israeli President Shimon Peres has given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu another 14 days to form a new government, after he was failed to do during the initial 28-day period.

Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu bloc won the most seats in parliamentary elections on January 22, but failed to secure enough to rule without coalition partners.

The prime minister did not name anyone in particular, but suggested at his meeting with Peres that at least one party has refused to sit alongside others. Netanyahu said there “is a boycott of a certain sector in Israel”.

It has been suggested that Yesh Atid (There is a Future), which secured second place in January’s vote, and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), which came fourth, are refusing to sit alongside ultra-orthodox parties in a coalition.

Netanyahu has managed to sign up Tzipi Livni, who has been appointed Justice Minister. The Hatnua (The Movement) party leader will have a special mandate to push forward a peace settlement with the Palestinians.

If the prime minister cannot find a solution by March 16, Peres could ask another lawmaker to form a government to avoid having to call another election.

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