Country to hold 5th election in 3 and a half years; Vote to be held on October 25 or November 1. Former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, welcomed the prospect of a fresh election.
After almost one year of taking power, Israel’s ruling coalition has agreed to dissolve the parliament and hold new elections. “Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office announced Monday that his weakened coalition will be disbanded and the country will head to new elections,” The Associated Press reported.
With today’s announcement, Israel is heading for fifth election in three and a half years.
Prime Minister Bennett will be stepping down and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will serve as the caretaker prime minister as country goes to poll in four months’ time. “The elections will be held on either October 25 or November 1. Under a power-sharing deal with Bennett, Lapid will assume the role of interim prime minister at least until a new government is formed,” the Israeli broadcaster Ynet News confirmed.
The dramatic decision was reportedly taken after one of Prime Minister Bennett’s eight-party coalition, the right-wing Yamina party, threatened to quit the government. “A source close to the matter says that part of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s motivation for dissolving the Knesset of his own volition is that Yamina MK Nir Orbach has planned to vote to dissolve the Knesset, a move that the 59-member political minority cannot defend itself against,” The Times of Israel reported Monday afternoon.
BREAKING: Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election. Vote will take place next week. Lapid will become Prime Minister once vote passes. Bennett & Lapid will hold a press conference at 8pm local
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) June 20, 2022
The Jerusalem Post reported the drastic step taken by PM Bennett:
Israel will head to its fifth election in three-and-a-half years, after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave up Monday on their efforts to stabilize the coalition.
In a joint statement, Bennett and Lapid said that they will bring a bill to dissolve the Knesset to a vote next Monday.
This means that elections will likely be held on October 25. Sources close to Bennett said the duo’s goal was to initiate an election on their own terms and not be forced out by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett Lapid press conference beginning. He says they made the right decision for Israel, got the country out of a tailspin of repeated elections, riots, high unemployment
— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) June 20, 2022
Former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed the prospect of a fresh election. An opinion poll conducted earlier this month showed Netanyahu-led alliance winning 60 seats in the 120-strong Knesset — one short of the majority.
As The Associated Press noted, the upcoming “election could also set the stage for a return to power by longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is now the opposition leader.”
The Times of Israel reported former prime minister’s statement:
Opposition chief Benjamin Netanyahu hails the coalition’s imminent collapse as “great news for millions of Israeli citizens.”
In a statement, Netanyahu says that “after a year’s determined struggle by the opposition in the Knesset and great suffering by the public in Israel, it is clear to everyone that the worst government in Israeli history has come to an end.
“A government that was dependent on supporters of terrorism, that abandoned the personal security of Israeli citizens, that raised the cost of living to unprecedented heights, that imposed unnecessary taxes, that endangered the Jewish character of our state, this government is going home.”
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