Israel going to third election in one year

  • By Editor
  • 12 13
  • 2019

By Itzhak Rabihiya

Almost no negotiations took place during the day, with last-ditch efforts to form a government abandoned earlier in the week, but MKs took the time to blame one another for the situation. Israel's political crisis reaches all time low as parliament dissolves itself and sends voters to polling stations for unprecedented third time in 12-month period.


The Knesset approved a motion on Thursday setting an unprecedented third national vote in a year to be held on March 2, 2020, as parliament dissolves itself after both premiership hopefuls Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival Blue and White leader Benny Gantz fail to break Israel's political impasse and form a coalition government.


The bill was approved with 94 lawmakers voting in favor to none opposed just hours after the Knesset was officially dissolved at midnight Wednesday as the deadline to form a new government passed, almost three months after Israel last went to the polls – Ynet news reports.


Earlier Wednesday, the Knesset passed the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself with the rest of the required readings set to be fast-tracked through parliament overnight. But time ran out and Israel was automatically launched into its third election cycle within 12 months. All that was left for MKs was to determine the date of Election Day.


Israeli law states that should no government be formed within the allotted period after an election, parliament is dissolved, and a fresh ballot will take place after 90 days. But that would clash with Purim holiday, forcing lawmakers to change the date.


Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud and his chief rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party have for weeks insisted they want to avoid another costly election campaign that is expected to produce similar results. But neither has been willing to compromise on their core demands for a power-sharing agreement. Netanyahu's recent indictment on corruption charges has added a murky legal imbroglio to the saga.


Following the September elections, both men failed during their officially mandated time to form a governing coalition on their own. Then, in a final three-week window, they could not join forces to avoid another vote.


Both sides said they were working until the last minute to find some way out of the deadlock. However, a breakthrough seemed highly unlikely.

Given Israel's divided state, and the deep mistrust between the opposing camps, there is no guarantee that another vote will break the loop of elections and instability that has rocked the country for the past year.


Recent opinion polls have forecast a similar deadlock after the next elections. Another campaign, and the national holiday of Election Day will cost the economy billions.




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