Jerusalem: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday granted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a two-week extension to form a new government, a media report said.

On March 25, Rivlin tasked Netanyahu with the responsibility of forming the next government and gave him 28 days to do so a deadline which will be reached this week, Xinhua reported.

Netanyahu, whose right-wing Likud party won the March 17 parliamentary elections, asked the president for additional time to reach a “stable coalition”.

The request was not unusual keeping in mind the history of Israel, where no party has ever won an outright majority in parliamentary elections.

Over the past month, Netanyahu held meetings with potential allies, including nationalist and ultra-orthodox parties, trying to piece together a coalition of 67 members in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament).

However, wide gaps remain between the parties. 

According to Israeli law, if Netanyahu fails to form a new government by May 6, the president can ask a different political leader to do so.

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