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Israelis Vote for Prime Minister in Unprecedented Third Election in a Year

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Mar 02, 2020
Israelis Vote for Prime Minister in Unprecedented Third Election in a Year

Israelis will vote for the third time in a year to elect a prime minister.

According to CBN News, Israel is headed into its third election because the winning candidate has been unable to form a government in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset.

In Israel, President Reuven Rivlin chooses a leader to form a government. That leader has six weeks, but if he fails, another candidate has 28 days to try to form a government. Following that, anyone in the Knesset can try to form a government in a two-week window. If all of these efforts fail, Israel heads to another election.

Previously, both current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz have been unable to form a government by the deadlines.

Monday, some 4 million Israelis are expected to vote. In September’s election, nearly 70 percent of eligible Israelis voted.

Officials also said they were not worried about fears of the coronavirus affecting turnout.

"The corona thing is completely under control. Today we've taken all the precautions that are necessary, people can go and vote, with complete confidence," Netanyahu said, after casting his vote in Jerusalem.

Some political experts are already predicting another stalemate, but leading up to the election, Netanyahu stressed the importance of voting. About 300,000 Likud supporters, the party that backs Netanyahu, did not vote in the last election.

“We're two mandates away from victory. If you don't go out and vote, we'll get a fourth election or a Gantz leftist government,” Netanyahu told supporters.

Meanwhile, Gantz, who is a retired military chief, has campaigned against Netanyahu, saying the long-standing prime minister cannot be Prime Minister because of corruption charges against him.

“In us being able to be more (united) with one another, more patient with one another, more acceptance to one another, whether it's Jews or an Arab, religious or secular,” Gantz said.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.