Israel stares at third election after Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz fail to reach agreement

WION Web Team
Israel Published: Dec 11, 2019, 05.13 PM(IST)

Benny Gantz and Benjamin Netanyahu (File photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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Netanyahu and Gantz were given 28-day period after the September election to negotiate a coalition under Israel's proportional political system.

Israel is staring at a third general election this year after Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz failed to reach an agreement over a coalition government

The parliament needs to reach a deal to avert a new election before 11:59 pm (2159 GMT), however, it looks unlikely any breakthrough will occur in a short span over the deadlocked September elections.

Netanyahu and Gantz have engaged in months of negotiations over a potential unity government but have repeatedly disagreed on who should lead it. PM Netanyahu, 70, faced with corruption charges has refused to budge even as  Gantz called on him to step down last month. Under Israeli law Netanyahu, the country's longest-serving prime minister can remain in office despite an indictment.

"After 80 days, it's time that for one day, for the citizens of Israel, we sit and have a serious discussion about forming a broad unity government. It's not too late," Gantz said.

Amid the uncertainty, Israelies are now looking at voting for the third time after April and September after Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party nor the centrist Blue and White party led by his main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, won enough seats in the Knesset.

"People think that acts of corruption can be forgiven because of one political circumstance or another," Gantz said at a press conference while taking a dig at PM Netanyahu, adding, "the support of the people who want to protect the prime minister causes them to be blind."

Netanyahu and Gantz were given 28-day period after the September election to negotiate a coalition under Israel's proportional political system, however, it failed to materialise with both men sticking to their position.

A party needs to get the support of more than half of the 120-seat Knesset to form the government.

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