Knesset prepares to dissolve itself, hold new elections

Preliminary vote passes 50 to 0 to dissolve 22nd Knesset, hours ahead of deadline for formation of new government.

Hezki Baruch, | updated: 12:18

Arrangements Committee
Arrangements Committee
Hezki Baruch

Less than three months after Israel’s last general election, the Knesset prepared Wednesday to dissolve itself and send the country to its third election in less than a year.

The Knesset’s Arrangements Committee met Wednesday morning to expedite the expected dissolution of the 22nd Knesset, after both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz failed to form a new government.

With the deadline for the Knesset to select a new premier set to end Wednesday night, the Arrangements Committee met Wednesday to discuss plans to formally dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections on March 2nd.

If no last-minute breakthrough is achieved to clear the way for a new government, the Knesset is expected to pass the bill dissolving the 22nd Knesset before midnight.

Just before noon Wednesday, the Knesset voted 50 to 0 in favor of the bill to dissolve the 22nd Knesset. The preliminary vote faces two more votes before the dissolution becomes final.

“This is not a happy day for the Knesset,” said MK Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) at the opening of Wednesday morning’s committee meeting.

“We hope that there be a last-minute change, and while we hope for a change, we must continue this process. I always thought that the first bills I would submit would be on social issues, not for the dissolution of the Knesset.”

During Wednesday morning’s hearing, MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) suggested that the Knesset cancel the election day’s status as a paid holiday for non-voters.

Nissenkorn pushed back against the proposal saying: “This is a dramatic day, we don’t need to punish citizens for the fact that we’re going to elections a third time.”