Gantz Netanyahu
A combination picture shows Benny Gantz (left), leader of Blue and White party voting at a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin and Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu voting at a polling station in Jerusalem during Israel's parliamentary election April 9, 2019. Image Credit: Reuters

Occupied Jerusalem: Israeli kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman has refused to endorse a candidate for prime minister, practically pushing the nation toward a new, third election this year.

Lieberman’s comments on Wednesday were widely anticipated as a midnight deadline closes in on Benny Gantz’s window to present a coalition government.

If Gantz fails, which is now all but guaranteed, the country enters the final 21-day period for a candidate to present a majority before new elections are called.

Neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his chief challenger Gantz has the required majority to build a coalition government with like-minded allies.

Lieberman has refused to give either the nudge for the required majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament and has urged them to join in a unity government as a way out of the stalemate but those efforts have failed.