Israeli parliament takes first step toward new election

Netanyahu’s efforts to form a government remained deadlocked. (Reuters)

Israel moved towards a new election after parliament gave preliminary approval on Monday to a dissolution motion as Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a government remained deadlocked.

In order to disperse and set an election date, parliament would still have to hold a final vote that is unlikely to take place before Wednesday, when a deadline for the prime minister to announce a governing coalition expires. Israel last held an election in April.

Netanyahu, who claimed victory on behalf of his right-wing Likud party in an April 9 election, has until 2100 GMT on Wednesday to put a government together, after being delegated the task by President Reuven Rivlin six weeks ago.

In power for the past decade and facing potential corruption indictments, Netanyahu has struggled to seal an agreement with a
clutch of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that would ensure him a fifth term.

Divisions between former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party and United Torah Judaism over a military conscription bill governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have plunged the coalition talks into stalemate.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53