ISRAEL: Israel’s parliament dissolved on Wednesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruling coalition failed to pass a budget. To renew an unprecedented political crisis, the country will see its fourth election in just two years.
According to the earlier reports, the coalition led by Netanyahu had been inching towards collapse for weeks.
The current prime minister has been facing public anger over his handling of the pandemic and engagement with a corruption trial. Talking about the COVID-19 vaccine, Netanyahu claimed that he has made an arrangement of millions of vaccines for the country. Meanwhile, Israel’s longest-serving leader will have to contend with a new rival Gideon Saar, a defector from the Likud party.
Netanyahu had established a unity government in May after three inconclusive elections. However, he has been locked in a dispute with politician Benny Gantz over the passage of a national budget. Now 71, he first served in the post from 1996 to 1999 and has held the office since 2009.
The dissolution of parliament, the Knesset, could see elections held as early as March 23, likely forcing Netanyahu to seek re-election. Interestingly, Gantz was going to take over from Netanyahu in November 2021. But, a new election indicates that this “rotation” will never happen.
In an open statement, Netanyahu said, “If an election is forced upon us, I promise you that we will win.” Political analysts have said that Netanyahu is hoping to use the budget dispute to force an election. This will ensure that he gets out of the power-sharing deal with Gantz.
In a tweet, Gantz said, “Netanyahu is taking us to an election for the sole purpose of not going to jail.” Meanwhile, Netanyahu will remain the prime minister until a new government is formed.