Israelis are voting for a third time in less than a year on Monday, with embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking re-election in view of an imminent corruption trial.
Final opinion polls indicated that neither Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud nor the centrist Blue and White party of his main challenger Benny Gantz will win enough votes on their own.
Israel is holding its third election in 11 months, with voters trying to find a way to break the country's seemingly intractable political deadlock. https://t.co/L1JGhDFjQ9
— CNN International (@cnni) March 2, 2020
Both will almost certainly fall well short of a majority in Israel’s proportional system and the winner will seek to form a coalition with multiple smaller parties.
After elections in both April and September, last year neither were able to do so, and a similar deadlock remains possible.
With few undecided in a divided country of 6.4 million eligible voters, turnout will be key and all parties were campaigning to get their supporters to the polls.
After months of bargaining with the country’s political elite, on one hand, and pleading to his own right-wing constituency on the other, #Netanyahu has failed to create the necessary momentum that would render him immune from prosecution. https://t.co/e0BzS7MhOF
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) March 1, 2020
Netanyahu, in power since 2009, said Sunday internal polls suggested they were close to winning and finally breaking the political deadlock.
“We are very close to victory,” Israel’s longest-serving premier told a press conference. “Leave your homes and vote Likud.”
Israel is having their 3rd election in a year. Netanyahu illegally publishes polls. Wonder how many elections it will take to unseat Netanyahu who should have been in jail by nowhttps://t.co/82D126fexq
— Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211) March 2, 2020
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, a former military general, urged supporters to vote and end Netanyahu’s divisive rule.
“You can’t just sit at home clicking your tongue, saying ‘what’s happening here,'” Gantz told public radio Sunday. “Get out and vote.”
“This is uncharted territory for Israel. Never before in Israel’s history has the ruling elite been faced with such legal and political dilemmas,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.
“Israelis now find themselves at the cusp of a new era, one that is defined by the breakdown of the country’s legal system, prolonged political crisis and never-ending social instability,” Baroud added.
(Palestine Chronicle, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)