When can Israel expect its 5th round of elections in two years?

March 30, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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President Reuven Rivlin will commence consultations next Monday with all parties elected to the Knesset and will then continue to talk with candidates recommended by the parties to be entrusted with the task of forming a government.

Photo by Esty Dziubov/TPS

At the end of the round of consultations, and if required, the president will hold further conversations with the relevant candidates to form a government according to the recommendations of the parties.

With a 60-60 tie between a bloc supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a bloc seeking his unseating, Rivlin is facing an almost impossible task.

The president has seven days to hold consultations, make a decision and entrust a Member of Knesset (MK) with forming a government, by Wednesday 7 April.

Netanyahu and Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid, the largest party in the anti-Netanyahu bloc, are leading candidates.

The MK entrusted by the president with forming a government has 28 days to do so. The president is authorized to extend this period by up to 14 days. With the current configuration, any candidate is again facing an almost impossible task.

If the period of time allotted to an MK to form a government has expired and/or they are not able to do so, Rivlin has two options and must take one of them within three days: entrust another MK with forming a government, or inform the Speaker of the Knesset that he does not see a possibility of forming a government.

The latter seems more likely in this case.

Finally, if no government has been presented to the Knesset and not gained its confidence, the Knesset will be deemed to have dissolved itself and there will be new elections to the Knesset.

Netanyahu’s bloc may try to poach a few MKs from the opposing bloc to complete a coalition of 61 MKs, possibly former members of the Likud party who regret their political choices. Netanyahu may also magically pull a political rabbit from his hat.

However, with a deadlock of 60-60, Israel may be facing its fifth round of elections in a bit more than two years.

A possible time for the fifth round of elections is the beginning of September, after the vacation season and before the Jewish New Year holidays begin.

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