President Shimon Peres will begin making initial contact and organizing unofficial negotiations to form the next government within the next few days, even before the official results of Tuesday's parliamentary elections are announced.
According to law, the president is granted the task of choosing a Knesset member to try to form the governing coalition. Though the president could choose any MK, traditionally he turns to the chairman of the largest party, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud-Beytenu will likely be tapped to form the next government. Likud-Beytenu, which won 31, garnered 12 more seats than the next largest party, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid.
Basic Law: The Government stipulates that "the president of the state shall, after consultation with representatives of party groups in the Knesset, assign the task of forming a government to a Knesset member who has notified him that he is prepared to accept the task."
As has been the case in the past number of years, the president's choice is based on the level of support that a certain MK receives from members of other Knesset factions, and the MK's likelihood of forming a viable coalition.
In previous elections, some party members have declined to state which MK they preferred to form the coalition.
"The President's Residence is prepared for a marathon of consultations between the president and faction representatives. These negotiations will be conducted with full transparency so that the public will be able to receive updated, credible and accurate information," said Ayelet Frish, the spokeswoman for the President's Residence.