PM Race Thrown to Israel’s Parliament, 3rd Election Likely
Following the failure of both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his main electoral rival, Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz, to piece together a governing coalition, Israel’s political system enters a new and unprecedented phase: Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has 21 days in which it can nominate one of its own members to try to form a government. The nominee must garner the support of 61 Knesset members – a majority of the 120-seat legislature – within the 21 days. The president, Reuven Rivlin, will then give the nominee an additional 14 days in which to assemble a government. If no Knesset member wins majority support – as seems likely – or if an MK is nominated but fails to form a government, an election is triggered, probably within 90 and no more than 100 days. It would be the third time Israel has gone to national elections in under a year. Observers of the Israeli political scene now predict an election on March 3 or March 17, 2020.