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Israel to hold yet another round of elections

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Israel to hold yet another round of elections

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Photo: Heidi Levine/AP

Legislative elections will be held today in Israel to elect the 120 members of the 24th Knesset.

Voters will try to move past a political gridlock that has brought Israelis to the polls for the fourth time in two years. Since 2019, no party has been able to form a stable coalition government. While campaigning, current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party has touted the nation’s successful COVID-19 vaccination program. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s opposition has emphasised his standing corruption charges.

Expect continued gridlock as polls show no clear way to a working coalition: anti-Netanyahu parties are projected to win 56 seats and pro-Netanyahu parties to win 51, leaving both short of the 61-seat requirement. A lack of political cooperation in the Knesset could translate to a slowed economic recovery, as squabbling over budget details has already left millions of Israelis affected by the pandemic with minimal aid. However, Naftali Bennett’s non-committed right-leaning Yamina Party could put the anti-Netanyahu bloc over the 61-seat threshold if they choose to join forces. If neither coalition wins a majority, Netanyahu will remain acting prime minister until November, when Benny Gantz would succeed him under the power-sharing agreement established last year.

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