Parliament passes provisional law to dissolve in what Benny Gantz saw as a move to pass the budget
The Israeli parliament has passed a temporary law to dissolve it. This move threatens to break up an already broken coalition government and trigger a fourth election in less than two years.
Wednesday’s vote, which is not final and will require further readings, was largely viewed as a move by Benny Gantz, the former opposition leader who reluctantly joined Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition this year to assert his authority.
The bill was passed between 61-54, with the potential for more bills to officially dissolve the house as early as next week, leading to an election this spring. Gantz’s blue-white party pushed through Wednesday’s bill with the support of smaller opposition parties.
In a televised address on Tuesday evening, Gantz, who serves as defense minister, accused the country’s longest-serving leader of lying and rejecting his demands, particularly a proposed budget.
« Netanyahu likes to compare us to the most progressive and successful countries in the world, » said Gantz. « Show me another country where a prime minister is sabotaging his own country’s budget. ”
However, he added that elections could be avoided if the Prime Minister approves the budget. He said, “Netanyahu, the burden of proof is on you. ”
Just before Gantz spoke, Netanyahu posted a video on Twitter speaking out against the move. « This is not the time for elections, » said Netanyahu. “Now is the time for unity. ”
Negotiations between Blue and White and Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party are expected to continue in the coming days to avoid costly elections.
Under the terms of the coalition government formed in May, Netanyahu will serve as prime minister for the first 18 months. Thereafter, Gantz will assume the leadership role for the remainder of a three-year term.
By agreeing to this deal, Gantz disappointed his constituents and his own party, which was breaking up into factions, into politics, mostly with promises to oust Netanyahu. Gantz said he acted to end a political crisis during a pandemic after three straight elections failed to produce a clear winner, and he intends to work with Netanyahu.
“I was aware of his track record as a ‘serial promise breaker’, but I thought the people of Israel were more important than a leader and that Netanyahu would take this opportunity up. Much to my dismay, that didn’t happen, ”said Gantz on Tuesday.
For Netanyahu, the union contract was largely seen as a career saver and possibly an opportunity for him to sidestep his legal troubles. The 71-year-old politician is a deeply controversial figure and faces three damned corruption cases that he denies.
“Netanyahu is on a path of personal survival. The only index to his decision-making is relevance to his ability to evade the process that is just around the corner, « said Gantz, referring to next year’s hearings.
Opposition voices in Israel said Netanyahu never intended to transfer the Prime Minister’s position to Gantz and preferred to hold another round of elections that could give him a more stable government.
« [Blue and White] was the victim of the most subtle political stabbing operation of all time, led by a world-class cheating master, » wrote Yossi Verter in Haaretz, a paper that deeply criticized the Prime Minister.
« The prime minister’s ultimate goal is to avoid the process. Either through legislation or through the appointment of an attorney general to delay the process or otherwise provided by his partners in the next coalition. ”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Benny Gantz, Knesset, Likud
World News – AU – Israel advances with a dissolving vote towards the fourth election
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