Five things you should know about the second Israeli national elections in six months.
By +972 Magazine Staff
How do Israeli elections work?
Israel is a multi-party system, which means several parties will be competing for citizens’ votes come Election Day. There are 5.8 million Israeli citizens who are eligible to vote this time. Of the 6,463,000 Palestinians who live under Israeli control, only 24 percent are defined as citizens with the right to vote. The rest are completely disenfranchised.
A party must pass the 3.25 percent electoral threshold to be a part of the parliament. Since Israeli elections are based on proportional representation, the number of seats each party receives is proportional to the number of votes they win.
Once the Central Elections Committee announces the final election results, the president tasks the head of the party with the most votes with building a coalition, meaning securing at least 61 of the 120 Knesset seats. In cases where no party has a clear lead in the votes, the president could decide to approach the candidate who is most likely to successfully put together a coalition.
Why are there national elections again, six months after the previous round?
One of the consequences of a multi-party system is that no one party wins a clear majority of seats, which makes governing coalitions both necessary and, by definition, unstable. When Avigdor Liberman, who has held top ministries under Netanyahu’s leadership, resigned abruptly as defense minister in 2018, the loss of his party’s six seats caused the collapse of Netanyahu’s coalition. And so elections were called for April 2019.
The Likud won the most seats in the April election, but Netanyahu failed to build a coalition within the given timeframe, which is why another election was announced for Sept. 17.
How are these elections different?
In general, not much is different about these elections. The size of the voting blocs is the same, and the right is likely to win a majority of seats, as they have for the last decade.
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