Third election on the horizon for Israel as parties fail to agree on ruling coalition

Israel’s parliament is poised to dissolve today after PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition

israel third election

Photo: AP

Israel’s parliament is poised to dissolve today after PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White coalition repeatedly failed to reach a power-sharing agreement.

Israel’s government has been deadlocked since elections in April and September both failed to yield a majority for Netanyahu or Gantz. If no governing coalition forms today, the country will head back to the polls in March 2020.

Indeed, if a fresh election were held today, polling indicates Netanyahu and Gantz would garner almost the same vote totals, despite Netanyahu’s recent indictment on corruption charges.

Successfully forming a coalition is an existential question for Netanyahu’s political career. It remains unclear whether the Israeli Supreme Court will remove him from office, but, with a majority in the Knesset, Netanyahu could try to legislate procedural immunity over the charges he faces.

Expect continued paralysis in Israeli politics as the legal system grapples with the unprecedented question of an indicted prime minister. Success in March’s elections will be critical for Netanyahu if he cannot overcome the indictment in court.

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