Israeli president begins consultations before tapping new PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has begun consultations with representatives of the new parliament’s factions ahead of tapping the country’s next prime minister.

The talks should be a formality, given the results of last week’s general election. The ruling Likud and its traditional nationalist and Jewish ultra-Orthodox parties hold a 65-55 parliamentary majority and are expected to vouch for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rivlin started his series of meetings on Monday with officials from Likud. He’ll then meet members of the 10 other elected factions, in order of largest to smallest, to hear their recommendations, before formally appointing the candidate he believes has the best chance of building a parliamentary majority.

In one of the president’s few non-ceremonial roles, he asks that leader to form a government within 42 days.

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