Ahead of third elections, Rivlin appeals to the public ‘not to lose faith in the democratic system’

December 13, 2019 by Arye Green -TPS
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As Israel prepares for its third elections within a year, President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday appealed to the public not to lose faith in Israel’s democratic system, despite its apparent flaws.

President Reuven Rivlin

“After two rounds of elections and as a third election campaign begins, I believe this is also a critical moment for the Israeli public, which will decide on who its leaders are. Israeli democracy was and still is a source of pride, and we know that the democratic system comes at a cost,” Rivlin told Israel’s citizens in a statement.

The president said that despite the growing divisive rhetoric and partisanship, he prays that people can look for common ground and focus on what connects them as citizens.

“I pray that the depth of the current political crisis and the divisions it exposes amongst us will lead us as a society and as a country to fight not only for the right to disagree with each other – but also to the duty to find what we can agree about,” he said.

After the second election round in September, Rivlin invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to establish a government, and after Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition, the mandate was given to Member ok Knesset (MK) Benny Gantz, who failed to do so as well.

The mandate to form a government was then passed on to all 120 MKs, who could have nominated a candidate to form a government, but did not recommend any MK to the president. This caused the Knesset to be dissolved automatically and has now led to a third round of elections.

Rivlin expressed hope that the Israeli political system will return to its routine of elections every four years, and that Israelis will overcome the damage the current political crisis has caused.

“I hope that this is the last election campaign for the next four years and that we will be able to grow as a people and a society from the division and disagreement that separates us to agreement and action that benefits us all. We must not allow ourselves to sink into despair or grievance, which does no good. We must not lose faith in the democratic system or in its ability to create the reality we live in with our own hands,” he said.

“When the time comes, we will all exercise our democratic right and do it in the hope of a better future, as soon as possible, for us all,” he concluded.

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