Many Israeli Pols Qualify to Be PM, Knesset Coalition Remains an Issue – Scholar
Many Israeli Pols Qualify to Be PM, Knesset Coalition Remains an Issue – Scholar from Sputnik News
The resignation has not deprived Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the parliamentary majority’s support, but reduced the ruling coalition to 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. In turn, Lieberman has insisted that an early parliamentary election should be held in the country as soon as possible.
Sputnik spoke to Rami Zeedan, PhD Assistant Professor of the Israel Studies Program at The University of Kansas for more insight on the issue.
Sputnik: Israel’s Minister of Defence Avigdor Lieberman’s surprise resignation has sparked concern that Israeli elections could be happening soon. How likely is that?
Rami Zeedan: It’s very likely. Lieberman is a powerful leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which holds five seats in the Knesset. Following his resignation, his party officially left the coalition.
As a result, the Netanyahu coalition now is based on only 61 members of the Knesset. This razor-thin majority is a considerable challenge to handle when each vote counts and given the divide between the different parties that make up the coalition and even different opinions within the parties themselves. Currently, there are many challenges for the government, such as budget cuts due to unexpected low tax revenue, a new military service conscription law, the security threats, and especially decisions regarding Hamas and Gaza.
For all of that, it is more likely that the current government won’t be able to remain stable and hold power until the next scheduled elections in November 2019.
Sputnik: In general how important is the timing of the elections?
Rami Zeedan: The timing of elections in Israel is very critical.
For the current cycle, however, it is even more critical. PM Netanyahu has been under multiple corruption investigations. The Attorney General is expected to decide on indictments. Some claim that Netanyahu prefers to schedule the elections after the decision is made by the Attorney General.
Sputnik: No Israeli government has finished a full four-year term since 1988. Why is that?