Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly believes President Reuven Rivlin will not task him with creating the government after the next elections because of "personal score settling," something the President's Residence dismissed on Wednesday as "paranoia that is not based on a concrete move or thought that happened in reality."
In response, coalition Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) said he intends to submit a bill proposal that would require the president to task the leader of the party with the largest number of seats in the Knesset with the construction of the government.
At present, Basic Law: The Government gives the president the authority to task any MK who agrees to it with the formulation of the government.
Amsalem seeks to change the law so the president would only be able to task the "head of the party" or "the candidate," thus ensuring no other MK in the winning party can put together the new government.
Netanyahu's close associates accused a former senior Likud Party member of spreading the report by speaking about the matter with several partners in the coalition. While the former member was not named, it is believed the associates meant former minister Gideon Sa'ar, who vehemently denied any connection to the reports.
"Normally, I don't comment on delusional claims, particularly when there's no one willing to stand behind these claims and make them openly. But since my name came up, I want to say in the clearest manner: There is no basis for the reports. They're completely farfetched. I'm bothered by the thought there is someone who whispers such nonsense in the prime minister's ear," Sa'ar said.
Likud MK Miki Zohar, a close associate of Netanyahu, told Ynet that "the attempt to accuse Gideon Sa'ar of an attempt to carry out a blitz against the prime minister is no more than complete nonsense."
He went on to say that "Gideon Sa'ar is joining forces with Likud to aid the party and aid Netanyahu to continue leading and succeeding with the members of Likud, for the benefit of the State of Israel."
On the statement from the President's Residence, Zohar said that "if someone tells me the president decides in a strange move not to task Netanyahu with the construction of the government, I wouldn't be surprised. There's bad blood between the two, no one denies it."