Benjamin Netanyahu faces another election after he fails to form government – Washington Examiner

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing another election after he failed to cobble together a coalition to form a government.

After the dust cleared in elections held just last month, along with many analysts, it appeared Netanyahu had survived reelection after right-leaning parties won a majority of the seats in Israel’s legislature, the Knesset. But an impasse over legislation to draft ultra-Orthodox Israelis in Israel ultimately prevented the formation of the government. Never before in the country’s history has the leader tasked with forming a government failed to do so.

With the deadline for an agreement midnight Wednesday, or 5 p.m. Eastern time, the Knesset voted to dissolve itself, forcing new elections for Sept. 17.

Netanyahu needed the support of Avigdor Lieberman, who commanded the five seats to put Netanyahu over the threshold required to form a government. Lieberman insisted that Israel follow through on plans backed by Israel Defense Forces to gradually increase ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the military, which most other Israelis are conscripted into, but two ultra-Orthodox parties, who control 16 seats, were pushing for it to be softened. After several last-ditch efforts to patch together a compromise, Netanyahu was forced to embrace the fallback plan of calling for new elections.

With the Knesset dissolved, President Reuven Rivlin cannot ask a rival politician to attempt to form a government. Early polls have shown right-wing parties would gain even more seats in a do-over election. But it also means that Netanyahu will be facing another reelection under the cloud of likely indictment on corruption charges. He had been eager to form a new government that would pass a set of immunity laws to shield him from prosecution, but that’s now off the table until at least the fall. And whatever polls now say, the political situation could change dramatically in the next five months.


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