JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israel’s political crisis (all times local):
Israel’s parliament has voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election this year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition before a midnight deadline.
The Knesset, which came into office less than two months ago, voted early Thursday 74-45 to disperse and call new elections.
Netanyahu appeared to cruise to victory in April 9 elections. But infighting among ultra-Orthodox and secular ultranationalist allies, and disagreement over proposed bills to protect Netanyahu from prosecution stymied his efforts to form a coalition.
Final approval would schedule a new election in September.
Netanyahu appeared to cruise to victory in April 9 elections. But during six weeks of negotiations, he was unable to muster support to win a parliamentary majority.
Israel’s raucous political world is on edge, counting down to a midnight deadline to see whether a new government will be formed or whether there will be an unpresented second election of the year.
Backchannel negotiations are continuing to try and find a compromise that will allow Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu faction to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition.
Without him, Netanyahu has no parliamentary majority and won’t be able to form a government.
Netanyahu and Lieberman are engaged in a high-stakes showdown and neither side appears ready to blink.
The crisis ostensibly revolves around Lieberman’s demand that current legislation mandating young ultra-Orthodox men be drafted into the military, like most other Jewish males, run its course. Netanyahu, dependent on the resistant ultra-Orthodox parties, is refusing to press them.