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Israel Going to Unprecedented 3rd Election in Less than Year

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, voted to dissolve itself late Wednesday night, the deadline for nominating a candidate to form a government. The new election will be held on March 2, 2020. The country’s two major political blocs, led by the right-wing Likud party of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the centrist Blue and White alliance of parties led by political novice and former military chief of staff Benny Gantz, have been unable to form narrow coalitions or a unity government following inconclusive election results in April and September. According to two recent opinion polls, more than 40 percent of Israelis seem to blame Netanyahu for the deadlock while less than 10% blame Gantz. The former is also facing indictments in three separate criminal cases of alleged corruption, which could have an impact on his legal ability to be tasked with forming the next coalition should the Likud do well enough in March. He is facing a party-leadership challenge from a popular former cabinet minister, although most observers note that Netanyahu is a master politician who is known for his ability to pull political rabbits out of his hat.