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Israel election: Count to be delayed due COVID-19

Netanyahu Israel

New Hope leader and former Likud par leader Gideon Sa’ar has pledged that he will never align with Netanyahu, and he has declared he has lost faith in the premier.
The 24th Knesset will be sworn in on April 6.

Benjamin Netanyahu (file Photo)

Tel Aviv, March 23: Israelis voted on Tuesday for the unprecedented fourth time in two years to end the political stalemate that began in December 2018 but the opinion polls indicate that Benjamin Netanyahu’s likud party is unlikely to achieve Knesset majority which is so needed for the stability in the country.

Elections were nesseitiated after the “unity government” between Likud and Blue and White failed to approve the Budget 2020 on a set date. The rotating premiership between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz formed a coalition government with a rotating premiership.

The 23rd Knesset officially dispersed on December 23,578,084 Israelis are eligible to vote for the 38 parties running in 13,685 polling stations across the country, including 750 special polling stations for the sick and quarantined due to COVID-19.The polls are being considered as a highly charged referendum on the divisive rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Public opinion polls forecast a tight race between those who support Israel’s longest-serving premier and those who want “anyone but Bibi,” as he is widely known.

Facing an electorate worn down by a series of campaigns and the coronavirus pandemic, candidates made their final push in recent days with a series of TV interviews and public appearances at shopping malls and outdoor marketplaces. The campaigns increasingly reached into people’s personal space with a constant barrage of get-out-and-vote texts that made cellphones ding and buzz at all hours.

Netanyahu who is undergoing trial on corruption charges, is fighting elections on two issues: economic recovery from the pandemic, peace treaties already signed with four Arab nations.

New Hope leader and former Likud par leader Gideon Sa’ar has pledged that he will never align with Netanyahu, and he has declared he has lost faith in the premier.
The 24th Knesset will be sworn in on April 6. President Reuven Rivlin is set to give a candidate a mandate to form a government the following day.

Alongside Netanyahu at the top of the party’s Knesset slate are Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, a former Soviet dissident and former speaker of the Knesset, and Finance Minister Israel Katz, who has served for years in senior cabinet posts, including as minister of foreign affairs and minister failed to form a majority coalition and create a government, Jerusalem post reported.

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