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With Israel’s Knesset preparing to dissolve, Prime Minister Bennett says he will not run for re-election According to Reuters

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© Reuters. A general view shows the plenary meeting at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem, June 27, 2022. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday advanced to its fifth election in less than four years, plunging the country deeper into political unrest as it grapples with rising costs of living in the region. international context is trying to restore the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that he will not run in the upcoming elections but will take over as prime minister after his counterpart Yair Lapid takes over as head of the interim government.

“I leave behind a prosperous, strong and secure country,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “We demonstrated this year that people with very different views can work together,” he added, referring to his ideologically diverse coalition.

Last week, Bennett proposed dissolving parliament after infighting left his governing coalition untenable. The Knesset set a deadline of midnight on Wednesday for a final vote to dissolve.

Once the call for a snap election receives the final approval of the Knesset, Israel’s centre-left foreign minister, Yair Lapid, will take over from Bennett as prime minister of a caretaker government with powers. limit.

But even as lawmakers debated the exact election date, October 25 or November 1, the campaign has been dominated by the possible return of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lapid and Bennett ended Mr Netanyahu’s record 12-year reign a year ago by forming a rare coalition of far-rights, liberals and Arab parties that lasted longer than many expected. but failed in recent weeks amid infighting.

Netanyahu, now the leader of the opposition, was delighted to end what he called the worst government in Israel’s history. He hopes to win a sixth term in office despite being on trial for corruption on charges he denies.

Surveys show his right-wing Likud party leading the polls but still lacking a governing majority despite the support of allied religious and nationalist parties.

Lawmakers from the pro-Netanyahu bloc said they were working to form a new government before parliament dissolved. That scenario, which seems far-fetched, would lead to an early election.

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