JERUSALEM: Israel's president says he is ready to start the process toward forming the country's new governing coalition following last week's parliamentary election.
A statement from the office of Shimon Peres said Tuesday the president will meet representatives from all parties elected to parliament. After that, he will choose a prime minister-designate to form a new coalition.
That's likely to be the current officeholder, Benjamin Netanyahu. His joint list is the largest party in the new parliament.
Meetings begin Wednesday after official results are delivered. Peres is set to meet Netanyahu and newcomer Yair Lapid, whose party finished second. Meetings with smaller parties are scheduled for Thursday.
The premier-designate can get two three-week periods for negotiations before presenting his coalition to the parliament for approval.