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Mandate expires for Israel's Gantz to form government, talks still ongoing with rival Netanyahu

(AFP) - The mandate given to Israeli parliament speaker Benny Gantz to form a government expired on Thursday (April 16), but talks were reportedly ongoing on an emergency alliance with his rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gantz, a centrist and Israel's former army chief, had been given a deadline of midnight by President Reuven Rivlin to reach a deal with Netanyahu.

Rivlin had said that if the sides failed to strike an accord, he would mandate Israel's parliament to select a candidate to form a government, a move that would likely prolong the country's unprecedented political deadlock.

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