Netanyahu Opposes Calling New Elections

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposes attempts to call new elections and urged his coalition partners to maintain the current power-sharing government.

« On Wednesday, the opposition will try to drag Israel into unnecessary elections, » Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting of his right-wing Likud party. « The Likud will vote against the elections and in favor of unity. »

Yair Lapid, president of the opposition and leader of the Yesh Atid center party, said he intends to present a bill in Parliament for a vote on the dissolution of Parliament and call new elections.

He called on the Blue and White party, the main partner in Netanyahu’s coalition, to support the project.

Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party and Alternate Prime Minister of Israel, clashed with Netanyahu for the delay in the approval of the state budget for 2020. Gantz demands the approval of the budget immediately but Netanyahu maintains that it should be postponed until next year.

Netanyahu and Gantz formed the power-sharing government in May after the March elections in which no party obtained enough votes to form a majority government. Those were the third consecutive elections in Israel in less than a year.

Netanyahu has faced mounting public anger over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and the prolonged economic crisis.