JERUSALEM – Israel was holding its fourth national election in two years on Tuesday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief governor, Benny Gentz, failed to resolve the budget dispute.
Parliament voted late on Monday against an attempt by both men to delay the Tuesday midnight deadline for approval of the fiscal package.
Under the law, failure to pass it until then would mean Israel going to the polls in March, and neither the lawmakers nor the cabinet have passed it, a process impossible to complete in a day .
Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party and heads of defense minister Gantz, the Central Blue and White faction, established a unity government in May following three inconclusive elections held after April 2019.
Gantz took over from Netanyahu as Prime Minister in November 2021 and passed the bi-annual budget for 2020 and 2021.
But while that power-sharing agreement was being curbed, many analysts argued that Netanyahu, whom he rejects, would not relinquish his powerful post on trial for alleged corruption, and Likud has since passed the budget. Demanded while Blue and White insisted on Netanyahu. Hold on to their deal.
Israel has managed its finances based on a pro-rated version of the 2019 budget so far this year.
The current fiscal deadlock has plunged Israel into more economic uncertainty at the end of a year, when the GDP is expected to reduce by 4.5 percent due to a coronovirus-induced recession, with the unemployment rate at 12.1 percent.
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Israel, also preparing for a new US administration led by President-Elect Joe Biden, called off its vaccination campaign this week.
Analysts saw Netanyahu pushing for elections in May or June next year, as the economy and economy were expected to recover after the coronovirus crisis.
A March vote would be risky for Israel’s longest-serving leader, who is facing a wave of street protests against his alleged corruption, which he denies, and to deal with the Kovid-19 epidemic .
Although surveys have shown Netanyahu’s party emerging as the largest faction in Parliament, the surveys also indicated that there is a strong expectation of factionalism from the political spectrum for those who want to unite him.