Jerusalem: Israel is preparing itself to hold the third round of elections within 12 months after both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz have failed in their attempts to form a governing coalition.
A time limit to forge a majority coalition in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, expired at midnight on Wednesday, automatically triggering a fresh national ballot.
By law, the poll cannot be held for three months, extending a political deadlock that has paralysed the country deep into next year.
Lawmakers voted overnight on a bill to hold the election on March 2, 2020, which was passed in second and third reading with support from 94 MKs.
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu consulted with his attorneys over whether it would be legally wise to forgo his right to request immunity from prosecution in the three criminal cases he was charged in if he and his rivals manage to overcome the current political deadlock and set up a government, preventing the election. Gantz announced Tuesday that he was willing to negotiate with the prime minister if he would not request immunity.
Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, Benny Gantz, failed in their own attempts following September’s inconclusive election.