Knesset will dissolve itself at midnight, send Israel to elections again

May 29, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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The Knesset’s interim special committee on Tuesday night approved for its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum a proposal to disperse the 21st Knesset and hold general elections on September 17.

Israeli Prime Minister and Likud Party head Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media at the Knesset on May 27, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90.

Before voting on the bill, the special committee voted down dozens of reservations and then passed the proposal in an 8 to 4 vote, with one abstention.

Legislative amendments to the Party Financing Law were added to the bill in order to ease the terms of the loans the parties took out to fund the April elections.

According to an agreement reached between the representatives of the Knesset’s parliamentary groups, the plenary debate on the bill will begin Wednesday at noon and conclude at midnight. Following the debate, the plenum will hold the two final votes on the bill.

The bill requires a 61 MK majority to pass its third and final reading and is expected to get the required votes.

Israel is heading to elections again after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party have failed to put together a viable coalition.

After receiving an extension from President Reuven Rivlin, Netanyahu is facing a deadline on Wednesday by which he must put together his government.

While 65 members of Knesset recommended that Netanyahu be entrusted with the formation of the new government after winning the April elections, he has been unable to bridge the differences among his potential coalition partners.

MK Avigdor Liberman and his Yisrael Beiteinu party, with five seats in the Knesset, are demanding the passage of a law pertaining to the draft of the Ultra-Orthodox community into the IDF.

The Ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, with 16 seats, have made concessions regarding the draft law, but are unwilling to adopt the formula that Liberman is demanding.

Facing a political crisis, the Likud party has called for the dissolving of the 21st Knesset, which was sworn in just four weeks ago.

Minister Zeev Elkin of the Likud party told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning that Liberman’s conduct “leads us to the fact that there will not be a right-wing government. Only a miracle will enable the introduction of a new government today. There is no desire on Liberman’s end.”

The latest polls project that Netanyahu will win the elections again.

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