Fourth elections loom as Israel’s coalition talks stall again

This comes in today from the Conservative Friends of Israel as Israel faces the worst political crisis in its history:

Negotiations between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chair Benny Gantz to build a governing coalition stalled again in recent days over reported differences on judicial appointments and legal guarantees for Netanyahu. Gantz’s mandate to form a government expired on Wednesday night after a two-day extension granted by President Reuven Rivlin. On Thursday, Yesh Atid-Telem leader Yair Lapid proposed a six-month “political freeze” to prevent fourth elections as Israel battles the coronavirus pandemic. Gantz’s shock move to enter into talks with Netanyahu caused the centrist Blue and White party to split from former allies Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon. As of yesterday, the task of forming a government moved to the Knesset, where any MK can gain 61 signatures in a bid to seat a government. If after 21 days no parliamentarian is able to form a government then the Knesset will automatically dissolve ahead of the country’s fourth election in less than 18 months. Likud and Blue and White negotiating teams continued talks yesterday and today, with the goal, as a joint statement read, to reach an “agreement toward the establishment of a national unity government”. Israel has been led by a caretaker government since December 2018, when the 20th Knesset dissolved. Since then, three consecutive elections have so-far failed to yield a new government, marking Israel’s worst political crisis since its foundation.

 

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