Members of the Central Elections Committee arrived at the presidential residence on Wednesday to deliver the formal results of the votes for Israel's 18th Knesset to President Shimon Peres.
The president told members of the Committee that he is certain that a "blessed partnership will be formed," expressing his confidence that Israel's political leaders will have the welfare of the country before them as they establish a new coalition government.
Peres received the Committee members and expressed his gratitude to its Chairman, Eliezer Rivlin.
"You did your job professionally, efficiently, and with a sense of public mission," the president said. "Thanks to you, we had a very dignified elections campaign, without any mishaps, that any democratic country would be proud of."
Peres added that he intends to embark on consultations with Knesset factions ahead of selecting the next premiership candidate, adding that he is aware of the heavy responsibility he bears.
"I will act with a sense of very deep commitment for the sake of Israeli citizens and the honor of their state," he said.
At 7:15 p.m., Kadima representatives are scheduled to arrive at the residence to recommend Chairwoman Tzipi Livni be granted the responsibility to form a government coalition. After that, representatives of the Likud faction will meet with the president. On Thursday, Peres is expected to meet with several factions, including Balad, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, Labor, Hadash, National Union, and United Torah Judaism. The consultations will end on Friday after the president meets with representatives of Meretz and the Jewish Home.
Following this round of meetings, Peres will summon either Tzipi Livni or Benjamin Netanyahu to his office and task one of them with forming the government. That person will have 28 days to form a coalition, as well as a 14-day extension if necessary. Should the candidate fail to form a government, the president will task another candidate with the job, giving him 28 days to complete the task with no possibility of an extension.