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Coalition to begin process of dissolving Knesset, heralding return to upheaval

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition is set to to hold the first in a series of votes for its own dissolution on Wednesday morning, as Israel’s short-lived “change government” calls it quits after months of crises, sending Israel to its fifth general election in under four years.

Wednesday’s vote begins the process of the government’s disbandment, which will likely wrap up next week, leaving Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as caretaker prime minister.

On Monday evening, Bennett and Lapid surprised the nation by announcing their intention to voluntarily dissolve their own coalition, saying they did so after coming to a conclusion that there was no way to maintain the current government.

Polls have already predicted political deadlock following an election, with no party having a clear path to a majority coalition. Israel went through a series of grueling, inconclusive elections between 2019-2021, with the ensuing government dysfunction incurring significant costs on the country.

Following last year’s election, Bennett and Lapid constructed Israel’s most diverse coalition ever that set out with 62 Knesset members from eight parties spanning the political spectrum from left, right and center. It made history by including an independent Arab party, Ra’am, in Israel’s government for the first time.

Bennett’s government saw early success, including by passing Israel’s first budget in several years, but it lost its majority in April and continued its downward slide from there. Renegade lawmakers scuttled key legislation, the entire Ra’am party sat on the sidelines for several weeks and Bennett’s top staffers left his office. At the end, the coalition found itself unable to pass even routine legislation, and faced the real possibility of the opposition clinching a majority to bring it down.

After the legislative process to dissolve the Knesset is set in motion, the earliest the government can disband is........

© The Times of Israel

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