In yet another demonstration of Israel’s fractured polity, the country to set to hold another round of elections on March 2, 2020. This will be the third round of elections since April 2019. The latest round of elections were called after no party or coalition was able to form a government after the elections held on September 17, 2019. The two largest parties, incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and former general Benny Gantz’s Blue and White were not able to muster enough support in the 120-member Knesset to form a government. A proposal to form a national unity government did not work out over the question of Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity from prosecution.
Gantz was willing to form a joint government if Benjamin Netanyahu dropped his request for immunity in three corruption cases in which he has been indicted. However, Netanyahu refused and an agreement became impossible. Netanyahu was indicted on criminal charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in November. This has led to a reluctance on the part of many parties to join any government led by him. Until the elections in March, Netanyahu will stay on as prime minister. A recent poll by the Israel democracy institute showed that 59% of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign following the framing of the charges.
Opinion polls put Gantz at a slight advantage in the coming elections.