Israel on the way to new elections in March

Israelis will go to the polls for the third time in a year. Polls again give Netanyahu and his rival Gantz neck and neck.

The Israeli political class was preparing the ground Wednesday evening for new elections, at the beginning of March, the third in less than a year, with the flavor of a new duel between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, now charged with corruption, and his rival Benny Gantz.

The Israeli deputies had in theory until 11.59 p.m. (10.59 p.m. in France) to offer an unexpected majority to the two rivals, neck and neck in the elections of April and September and each time unable to rally 61 elected out of the 120 of Parliament. In the absence of an agreement, the hemicycle is dissolved on the 12th stroke of midnight.

Wednesday morning, a parliamentary committee had however proposed to precipitate things and to gather the deputies in order to vote directly the dissolution of the Knesset, the Parliament, and to call new elections on March 2, 2020. But at 8 pm (5 pm in Paris Other votes planned to endorse this project had not yet taken place.

On both sides, one fires his weapons The two sides, unable for months to agree on a power-sharing, seemed to be brewing their weapons for the upcoming elections on Wednesday night rather than negotiating a last-minute deal.

“They are pushing us towards new elections … and the only thing to do is to win them, to win a big victory, and that’s what we will do,” said the current Prime Minister Wednesday evening.

Court cases are at the heart of this clash between the two men. The longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history – 13 years, the last decade of which has continued -, Benyamin Netanyahu, 70, was indicted in late November for corruption, breach of trust and embezzlement in a series of business.

Some of his relatives, including his lawyer, must also be indicted for money laundering, for the purchase of submarines to the German company ThyssenKrupp.

Polls give them elbow to elbow He wanted to lead a union government first, hoping in particular to obtain judicial immunity, which Benny Gantz refused, believing that his rival should settle his disputes with the law before resuming the post of Prime Minister.

“It seems that we are entering a third round of elections today because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to obtain immunity,” Benny Gantz repeated on Wednesday.

In case of a new vote, Netanyahu’s Likud and Kahol Lavan’s (“Blue-White”, the colors of the flag) Gantz will always be in a pocket-handkerchief, according to latest polls.

Likud primaries? Despite his charges, Benyamin Netanyahu managed to avoid defections in his camp, which could have fed the ranks of his rival.

The Prime Minister is nevertheless confronted with a contest within his party, the Likoud, led by the deputy Gideon Saar, who requests the holding of primaries to designate the head of the formation for the new ballot.

On Wednesday, a Likud executive said the training was planning to hold the primary in two weeks on Dec. 26. “This is a breakthrough that will put an end to the current political crisis,” said Gidon Saar, Netanyahu saying for his part certain of winning this primary.

Netanyahu shows closeness to Trump To boost his support, Benyamin Netanyahu has already stressed the importance, he said, of moving forward with his plan to annex a strategic plan for the occupied West Bank and to sign a joint defense treaty with the West Bank. United States.

The Likud candidate is said to be close to US President Donald Trump, who has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and recently held that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank were not contrary to international law.

Hence the Israeli Prime Minister’s claim that he would be the only one, thanks to his relations with the Trump administration, to be able to advance these sensitive issues.

Gantz: “Freeing the country from corruption” The party of Benny Gantz has somehow already endorsed the new candidacy of the former military, even if the statutes of the training provide for alternation with his partner Yair Lapid as headliner elections.

But the latter said that he left all the room for Benny Gantz in this upcoming remake: “The important thing is neither the rotation, nor the siege, but the liberation war, to liberate the country from corruption”

By M.-L.W. with AFP

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