The Israeli Parliament has approved on December 12 that Israel will be conducting an election on March 2, its third in less than a year. It was announced just after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent failed to parlay the previous two ballots into a new coalition government. The motion was passed in a vote of 94 lawmakers in favour. The decision came hours after the final deadline lapsed to form the government following the last election in September.
In the previous polls and the one held in April, Netanyahu's conservative Likud Party decided to have an alliance with ex-general Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White but neither party resulted to gain a majority in the 120-seat Knesset for a stable coalition.
Meanwhile, a group of petitioners requested Israel’s top court to ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign after he was accused of corruption charges. The recent statement from a watchdog group added to the pressure that Netanyahu is already facing from the members of the ruling party. Netanyahu, who served as the Prime Minister of Israel for four consecutive terms, refuted charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. He further said that he will not resign from his position and will continue to defend himself. A petition that has been filed in the Supreme court by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel said that considering criminal charges, the Prime Minister should resign from his position. The criminal charges include “the crossing of a red line and a grave blow to public trust in ruling institutions”.
The indictment came amid the political turmoil in Israel when after elections in April and September, neither Netanyahu nor his political rival Benny Gantz secured the majority to form the government. On November 21, Netanyahu was formally charged in a series of corruption cases that threw the nation towards uncertainty and a highly-possible third general election of the year. Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu making him the first sitting prime minister of Israel to face indictment. The charges include offering to amend regulatory in policies in exchange for favourable news coverage from a media outlet.