12/10/2019, 09.26
ISRAEL
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Likud and Blue White find agreement: Israel will vote on 2 March

Tomorrow evening the deadline for the formation of a majority in the Knesset expires. The possibilities for agreements are practically nil. The country is heading towards the third election in less than a year, in a climate of persistent uncertainty. Netanyahu gives the green light for the party primaries ahead of the vote.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The two main parties in Israel, the Likud led by outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the "Blue White" coalition of rival Benny Gantz, chose March 2 as the date for the next political elections, the third in less than a year.

If by midnight tomorrow, 11 December, no Knesset member - after the two unsuccessful attempts by Netanyahu and Gantz in recent months - succeed in securing a parliamentary majority, the country will therefore be called back to the polls in a context of severe instability.

The 21-day period in which Parliament can indicate one of its members called to collect a majority of 61 seats (out of a total of 120) expires tomorrow evening. Within 90 days the end of the legislature is declared and new elections are held. However, the reality is that the scenario for the coming months does not seem likely to change much, given that the latest polls confirm a sort of parity between the two main camps.

In April Netanyahu won the election, but failed to form a majority in the Knesset, where at least 61 seats out of a total of 120 are needed. The subsequent September 17 vote confirmed the deadlock, which effectively prevented one of the two most important sides to create a government.

Netanyahu had offered Gantz a unit executive and an alternation at the helm, taking the first two years of his term to survive on a political level and escape the trials, which could start in the coming months. The proposal was rejected by the centrist leader, in a context of deep rift around the figure of the outgoing premier who remains the main obstacle to the birth of a national unity government.

The date of 2 March, indicated by Likud and Blue and White, requires the approval of two-thirds of Parliament to be enforceable. However, the two fronts actually control - with a series of alliances - the Knesset, so it is very likely that the choice will be confirmed.

Meanwhile, in view of the vote, the outgoing premier Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have given his assent to the party primaries to choose the future Likud leadership and the man who will present himself to the country in the elections. In recent weeks, activists inside the party and other prominent leaders had demanded the primaries, as the last three rounds with Netanyahu at the helm ended in a stalemate.

Analysts and experts point to Gideon Sa’ar as Netanyahu's main challenger to lead the party, the only figure that emerged in recent years to counteract his internal leadership. "The Prime Minister - reads a note from the party - does not oppose the primaries [...] in which he will repeat a great victory". Immediate the reply by Sa’ar, who says he welcomes the "declaration" of the premier "with favor" and recalls that "the Likud is the most important political movement in Israel and boasts a great democratic tradition within it".

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