President Yitzhak Navon said he has decided to call on Prime Minister Menachem Begin to form Israel's next government. Mr. Navon made his announcement after consulting with minor parties that won parliamentary seats in the general election. Mr. Begin had been expected to be asked to form a new government, although his efforts to form a coalition were hampered by bickering among three religious parties in his proposed alliance.
Under the Constitution, Mr. Begin has 21 days to form an administration with a workable majority in the Knesset (parliament). After this period he can ask for a further 21 days. Earlier he said that if he could not manage the job in the first 21 days he would give up the task.