JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli kingmaker Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday refused to endorse a candidate for prime minister, virtually guaranteeing the country will be forced into a new election, the third in less than a year.
Lieberman's comments came ahead of a midnight deadline for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rival, Benny Gantz, to form a coalition.
A September election left both Netanyahu and Gantz short of securing a required parliamentary majority to form a government, with Lieberman holding the decisive votes.
But after weeks of negotiations, Lieberman said he could not endorse either side.
"I made every effort. I turned over every stone," he said.
Lieberman had called for a national unity government between Netanyahu's Likud party and Gantz's Blue and White. But the two leaders could not agree on a power-sharing agreement.
Gantz has until midnight to try to seek other partners, but without Lieberman, that appears impossible.
Gantz was given the opportunity to form a government last month after Netanyahu failed in the task.