Israel parliament postpones budget, avoiding another election

AFP , Monday 24 Aug 2020

Israeli parliament
File Photo: A general view shows the Israeli parliament, Jerusalem (Reuters)

Israel's parliament on Monday evening passed a bill postponing a vote on the budget by four months, thus avoiding another general election after three polls in less than a year.

Emerging as the biggest party in a March election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud formed a coalition with Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party, bringing Israel out of the longest political crisis in its history.

The agreement between the two parties stipulated that the government put together a two-year budget.

But Likud proposed voting on two budgets -- a change rejected by Gantz.

Netanyahu announced on Sunday night that he had accepted a compromise solution by a coalition lawmaker that would postpone adoption of the budget.

On Monday night, lawmakers voted by 67 to 37 in favour in the second and third readings of the bill, thereby postponing adoption of the budget by 120 days.

The budget was supposed to be passed before Tuesday.

The vote in favour of postponing the decision on the budget avoided a dissolution of parliament, effectively bringing an end to the threat of yet another election.

But the substance of the dispute between Netanyahu and Gantz remains unresolved.

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