Israel Heads for 2nd Snap Poll in Coming September

IndraStra Global

Israel Heads for 2nd Snap Poll in Coming September

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: Rabbi Israel Hager votes for Israel's parliamentary election at a polling station in Bnei Brak, Israel, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Source: Oded Balilty/AP Photo

Image Attribute: Rabbi Israel Hager votes for Israel's parliamentary election at a polling station in Bnei Brak, Israel, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Source: Oded Balilty/AP Photo

On May 29, 2019, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself and hold an election once again after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition. His deadline, which expired at Wednesday midnight, came after weeks of negotiations with several parties.

Knesset elections had been due in November 2019 but were brought forward (April 9, 2019) following a dispute between members of the current government over a bill on national service for the ultra-Orthodox population, as well as impending corruption charges against Netanyahu. In the 1st snap election, Netanyahu's Likud party won 35 seats, and his religious and nationalist allies won another 30, appearing to give him a solid majority in the 120-seat parliament.

Israel: Final result of April 9 Knesset election (number of seats) - April 9, 2019

But discord between his ultra-Orthodox allies and his former protege cum ex-Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's secular nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party resulted in a deadlock. According to Josef Federman, "The latest showdown, in which Lieberman blocked Netanyahu from forming a coalition government, was the culmination of years of up-and-down relations between student and mentor."

Despite having differences, Lieberman said he would not support a government led by Benny Gantz, reiterating that he would prefer a right-wing government without the ultra-Orthodox.  

The next "snap" election is scheduled for September 17, 2019.  But, the interim prime minister still faces a likely indictment for a battery of corruption charges just after two weeks of the election; on October 2 and 3.