Lawmakers eyeing special election for PM as way out of gridlock

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Yamina leader Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas leader Aryeh Deri | Photo: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

The hope is that a special vote would give Israelis a clear choice for prime minister and give him or her a mandate to form a government.

Shas is trying to convince other parties to band together and vote to change Israel’s electoral system so that a special election for prime minister would take place, Channel 12 News reported Sunday.

The plan was apparently a result of a meeting between Shas leader Aryeh Deri and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett.

The hope is that this special vote would present Israelis with a clear choice for prime minister and give him or her a mandate to form a government, thus paving a way out of the political stalemate that has emerged following the March 23 election.

Under Israel’s current electoral laws, the Knesset has to vote to swear in a government in
a confidence vote, but like the past 3 elections, the most recent election ended with neither political bloc securing such support to present a government for approval.

According to the Channel 12 News report, Netanyahu has lent his support for the special election bill, especially because he is struggling to convince his right-wing allies to enter a coalition with Arab party Ra’am or even form a government with indirect support from its lawmakers.

Netanyahu called on New Hope leader and former Likud lawmaker Gideon Sa’ar to come back to the governing party on Sunday, but so far Sa’ar has only increased his attacks and criticized the prime minister for using the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet to “destroy Israel’s state institutions.”

Meanwhile, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who is considered to be the alternative to Netanyahu in the Knesset, called on all parties opposing the prime minister to “form an Israeli unity government.”

Lapid hopes he would get the presidential nod to form a government if Netanyahu fails to swear in a government by the deadline in two weeks, but it appears that he has yet to convince right-wing lawmakers to back him.

(Israel Hayom).

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