Start Europe Israel votes early in April

Israel votes early in April

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In Israel, an early election will take place in early April. This was agreed by all parties involved in the government, said a spokesman for the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. The decision to dissolve the Parliament was taken in the interest of the country.

After a meeting, coalition leaders said they had unanimously decided to „dissolve the parliament and hold general elections in early April, after a four-year reign.“ The next parliamentary election will not be held until the end of 2019.

Background of the decision are tensions within the right-wing religious coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Already for months in Israel was speculated about a preferred election. So far, Netanyahu, whose government has been in crisis for some time, has always rejected a new election.

Quarrel over ceasefire in the Gaza Strip

Opposition politician Jair Lapid of the Future Party and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned in November, had said they did not want to support a new draft law. The law must be passed by mid-January. Lieberman had resigned in the dispute over a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu is also under pressure for allegations of corruption

Minister of Education Naftali Bennett’s right-wing settler party threatened to leave the ruling coalition in November if Bennett were not appointed new Defense Minister. At the same time, Lieberman’s ultra-nationalist Israel Beitenu (Our House of Israel) left the coalition, leaving only one vote in parliament.

New elections long rejected as „unnecessary“

Israel Beitenu and the remaining coalition partners from the center-right party Kulanu and Ha-Beit ha -jehudi had then demanded a new election. Netanyahu, who took over the post of defense minister, had initially rejected an early election as „irresponsible.“ In view of the tense security situation such demands are „unnecessary and wrong“.

In the general election in March 2015, Netanyahu had won the most votes with his right-wing Likud. Before Lieberman’s resignation, the right-wing coalition consisted of six parties and a majority of 66 to 54 votes in parliament. Most recently, head of government Netanyahu had to govern by a narrow majority of 61 mandates.
Charge against Netanyahu?

Netanyahu is also under pressure for allegations of corruption. Since the beginning of the year, the prosecutor’s office is considering a possible indictment. Netanyahu has been in office since 2009, his fourth term as head of government.