Just three days left until automatic elections called

Written by on December 19, 2020

In order to prevent elections being held a budget would have to be passed by midnight of Tuesday, December 22.

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz pass each other in the Knesset last year. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz pass each other in the Knesset last year.

(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

With just three days left until the Knesset is automatically dissolved, setting in motion a fourth round of premature elections, the obstacles which must be overcome for the fractious coalition to stabilize the current government look insurmountable.

If elections are to be prevented, a budget would have to be passed by midnight on Tuesday, December 22 and although it is virtually impossible to do so at this late stage, Likud and Blue and White could pass legislation to delay the budget deadline, again, if agreement was reached on the other major bone of contention, control over judicial and legal appointments.

But even that legislation would require a majority which would be extremely hard to secure in the current Knesset.

At the same time, the Likud is demanding greater authority in the appointment of critical positions in the legal and judicial systems, including a new state attorney, a new attorney-general, and judges.

Blue and White took control of the Justice Ministry precisely to block the Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s influence over such sensitive appointments as the prime minister is in the midst of a criminal trial.

Blue and White is apparently balking at these demands, which would weaken Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn,  according to a report on Channel 12.

Blue and White’s Nissenkorn has emerged as an opponent of any further concessions to the Likud, with rumors swirling that he could abandon the party if its leader, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, seeks to extend the life of the current government, and by extension, his political career.

“There won’t be any concessions,” Gantz wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

“I say again to the Likud, the time for lies has ended – the time for action has arrived. If Netanyahu, who has violated the agreement between us time after time, does not do the right thing, we will go to elections and ensure that he will not be prime minister again. And we will continue to control all the key positions and use our power.”

The Likud Party said in response that: “The continued tenure of the government when we can see light at the end of the tunnel demands compromises from all sides in order to work together to roll out the [coronavirus] vaccines and provide financial assistance to Israeli citizens. It is a shame to drag the country to elections at this time. If they force elections on us we will be ready and we will win.”

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