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News > Israel

Israel Heads to New Elections as Government Collapses

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu at the Parliament, Jerusalem, Israel, Dec. 22, 2020.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu at the Parliament, Jerusalem, Israel, Dec. 22, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 December 2020

After failing to pass a budget law on time, the Legislative branch dissolved and set new elections for March.

Israel will hold its fourth national election in two years amid a political collapse prompted by the dissolution of the Parliament on early Wednesday.


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The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) failed to pass a budget law by the midnight Tuesday deadline. That caused the legislative power to dissolve. On Wednesday, the Parliament President Yariv Levin set new elections for late March.

The call for the new elections occurred amid the public outrage against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the corruption scandal in which he is involved.

Netanyahu, who has ruled the country since 2009, is the first prime minister to be investigated for corruption in Israel.

In the new contest for the country's leadership, the Prime Minister will have to deal with a new right-wing rival, Gideon Saar, who has the same voting intention as Netanyahu, according to polls.

Netanyahu and his Defense Minister Benny Gantz formed their coalition last May after battling in three consecutive elections.

"We put aside our rivalry to form an emergency government focused on guiding the country through the health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19," the Prime Minister assured in May.

Experts affirmed that both politicians focused on leading a fierce dispute over the national budget law instead of solving the crisis. The law would play a crucial role in implementing an agreement in which Gantz would trade places with Netanyahu in November 2021.

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