GP Insights # 57, 2 June 2019
On May 30, 2019 Israel’s parliament voted by 74-45 to dissolve itself and hold fresh elections as Israeli PM Netanyahu failed to form a ruling coalition before the midnight deadline. The new elections are expected to take place in September.
What is the background?
Despite likely indictment in three corruption cases, on April 9, 2019, Netanyahu, became prime minister for a fifth term when Likud Party won 35 of the 120 Parliaments seats. However, he failed to overcome rifts between religious and secular allies. The chief obstruction being a disparity over a military conscription draft law.
What does it mean?
The upcoming election evades Israeli President Reuven Rivlin choosing another candidate to form a government but plunges Israel into another billion-dollar acrimonious campaign which will see fresh US funding and backing for Netanyahu as the upcoming Bahrain Summit and looming Trump-Jared “deal of the century” requires Netanyahu to remain in power.
Bibi’s hope that September elections will break the impasse will face hitches. First, he will have to appeal to the same politicians for the coalition. Second, the pool of plausible coalition members is dwindling. Third, his manipulation of Israeli laws may boomerang. Fourth, the military draft may remain a discordant issue. All this while the corruption indictment is underway.
Meanwhile, opposition, unhappy with the move, has accused Netanyahu of being "legally incapacitated" by impending indictments. Maybe he is buying time.