Israel's coalition govt to dissolve Parliament; fresh polls on the cards
Jerusalem, Jun 21: Israel could be headed towards its fifth parliamentary elections in less than three-and-a-half years with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his ally Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announcing on Monday to introduce a bill to dissolve the Knesset (parliament) next week.
Bennett and Lapid, in a joint statement, said that they had "exhausted options to stabilise" their coalition which has recently come under severe strain over unruly members threatening to dump it.
The move, if passed, will trigger snap polls - Israel's fifth in just about three years.
Lapid will assume the role of interim Prime Minister until the elections as per the power-sharing arrangement of the governing coalition.
The crisis-ridden government, an amalgamation of ideologically disparate political formations drawn from the left, centre, right and even an Arab party (for the first time in Israel's history), finally looked tottering under the pressure of disperse beliefs.
Local media reported that Bennett is considering retiring from politics altogether as per sources close to him.
Ha'aretz online quoted sources at the Prime Minister's Office as saying that Bennett held a discussion with Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on Friday, where he understood that there would be no way to pass the expiring emergency regulations extending Israeli civil law to the West Bank - after they failed to pass it earlier this month.
Bennett, whose government had been reduced to a minority in the 120 member Knesset, faced constant threats and ultimatums from lawmakers, mostly from his own Yamina party.
Earlier on Sunday, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu-led Likud party submitted a bill to dissolve the Knesset, which was set to be put to a preliminary vote on Wednesday.