Third Time’s a Charm?

Stand for Israel  |  December 12, 2019

A general view of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on December 11, 2019. - Israeli lawmakers gave initial approval today to a bill that would dissolve parliament and set the third general election in a year for the beginning of March. The bill, which passed the preliminary vote 50-0, comes ahead of a midnight (2200 GMT) deadline to form a new coalition, and would set the date for polls as March 2 next year. It faces two more plenary votes before being passed. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP) (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Well, Israelis will be voting…yet again. Because the Israeli government was unable to form a coalition — and thus unable to choose a new prime minister — The Times of Israel reports that the people of Israel will head to the polls for a third time in under a year:

Israelis will return to the ballot box for the third consecutive national election in 11 months on March 2 after its top politicians again failed to build a governing coalition, in the latest twist in a sprawling and unprecedented crisis that has left the country in political limbo for a year.

The Knesset was automatically dispersed at midnight on Wednesday, but lawmakers continued debating until early Thursday on the date of the vote.

With no Knesset member having gained the support of 61 MKs by the midnight deadline, the Knesset officially dissolved and new elections set for 90 days time, March 10…

The April 2019 election made history when by the end of May it became the first-ever Israeli election that failed to produce a government. At the time, Netanyahu was short just one vote of a majority. Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman had refused to join over disagreements on the ultra-Orthodox enlistment law with Netanyahu’s Haredi political allies, precipitating the repeat vote in the fall.

Following both elections, neither Gantz’s Blue and White nor Netanyahu’s Likud had enough allies to form a government without the other or the support of the Yisrael Beytenu party, but the two parties could not finalize the terms for a unity coalition…

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