(Bloomberg) -- Israeli President Isaac Herzog gave Benjamin Netanyahu more time to form a ruling coalition as the former prime minister looks to finalize talks with right-wing and religious parties that would see him return to power after 18 months in opposition.

The extension is until Dec. 21, according to a statement from the president’s office. Netanyahu had asked the president for a two-week extension.

Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most votes in last month’s general election — the fifth since 2019 — but fell short of commanding an overall majority in the parliament, the Knesset. He had been attempting to finalize a coalition agreement ahead of initial Dec. 11 deadline.

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