Netanyahu's mandate to form coalition ends on May 4, with no indications he will hand it back early

Israel's President Reuven Rivlin will hand the mandate to form the country's new government to Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to build a coalition, the Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The newspaper cited a source close to Rivlin as saying that the handover is slated for after Netanyahu's mandate expires on May 4, suggesting that the president would reject a possible extension request from the PM.

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This time, the president will not meet with all Knesset (Israeli Parliament) leaders to discuss their recommendations -- but will hear those that change their calls.

The mandate will then head to the lawmaker who received the highest number of recommendations, which in the current disposition looks to be Lapid.