Israeli politicians to pass special law to avoid Purim election clash

As hopes recede for a deal to form a coalition, Likud and Blue & White have agreed to hold Israel's third election in 12 months on March 2, 2020



Israel’s political deadlock means the country appears set for another Knesset election on March 2, 2020 — its third such contest in less than a year — after the two biggest parties agreed a date for the poll.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and Blue & White, led by Benny Gantz, announced on Monday they had agreed on the date, which is the week before Purim.

The election will be triggered if a last-minute power-sharing deal is not agreed between Israel’s politicians before 10pm GMT on Wednesday.

According to the timetabling outlined in Israeli law the day of the election would clash with Purim, which begins on the evening on March 9.

Politicians from Blue & White and Likud have thus agreed a deal to move the date to March 2 — unusually, a Monday.

Israeli elections are traditionally held on Tuesdays.

The March 2 date would require parliamentary approval, but as the two parties dominate the Knesset this would be certain to pass.

Two elections have been held in Israel in 2019 — on April 9 and September 17 — with neither resulting in a distribution of seats that favours the two power blocs in the Knesset.

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