Israel holds fifth parliamentary elections since 2019

Polling stations opened on Tuesday at 07:00 local time (08:00 Moscow time) for early parliamentary elections in Israel, which will be the fifth since April 9, 2019. Based on their results, the composition of the Knesset (Parliament) of the 25th convocation will be determined, after which the procedure for forming a government coalition will begin and, if successful, a new government and prime minister will be sworn in.

Israeli parliamentary elections begin

According to the CEC, 6.78 million voters will be able to vote in these elections. According to the law, these are citizens of the country over 18 years of age who are on voting day in the Jewish state or outside it on official business trips.

In total, about 12,000 polling stations will operate on Israeli territory. Their doors will be open until 22:00 (23:00 Moscow time). Shortly thereafter, the results of the exit polls will be announced and the count of ballots cast will begin.

Elections are held under increased security measures. About 18,000 police officers will be involved to ensure order in the country on this day. In turn, the press office Israel Defense Forces announced the introduction on November 1 of the blockade of Palestinian territories for one day.

Main contenders

According to the latest public opinion polls, the main contenders for victory in the elections in the party standings are the Likud party of the opposition leader, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuwhich can count on about 30 seats in parliament, as well as Yesh Atid of the current head of government Yaira Lapidawhich sociologists predict from 24 to 27 seats.

In addition, the far-right religious party “Religious Zionism” of Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smortich can get 14 seats in the new convocation of parliament, and the State Camp bloc, created on the basis of the Kahol Lavan party of the current Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, 11 parliamentary seats. According to the polls, at least seven more parties will enter the parliament, which will receive from four to eight seats.

This time again, the main struggle, as analysts predict, will unfold around which of the politicians will be able to achieve the formation of a stable government coalition that controls at least 61 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. Otherwise, re-elections may be scheduled again in Israel.

Dissolution of the previous Knesset

The current Israeli Cabinet was formed by a coalition led by the Yamina parties of Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid of Yair Lapid following the parliamentary elections on March 23, 2021. In June of the same year, Bennett succeeded Netanyahu as prime minister, which he had held since 2009.

By the middle of this year, the ruling coalition was faced with an inability to secure the necessary majority in the Knesset to vote on important bills. In particular, it failed to extend for another five years the important July 1st ruling on the application of Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Under these conditions, on June 20, Bennett and Lapid agreed to dissolve the parliament, the corresponding bill was approved by the Knesset on June 30.

At the same time, early elections – already the fifth in three and a half years – were scheduled for November 1, and the post of prime minister, according to the coalition agreement, passed from Bennett to Lapid before new elections. Bennett later announced that he would not participate in the new election campaign. Lapid, who now holds the post of head of government, will head the transitional cabinet until the new prime minister is sworn in.

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