(PM) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fails to meet a midnight deadline to form a new governing coalition, which triggers an unparalleled second election this year which could even force the longtime leader to resign.
He seemed to gain a fourth sequential term as Israel’s prime minister after elections on April 9, thanks to his Likud party and allies.
A dismal Netanyahu appeared at parliament in front of a late-night vote that would mandate new elections. Channel 12 TV quoted him as saying: “Unfortunately, it looks like we are going to elections,” according to AP.
The direct reason for the stalemate has been a dispute with Avigdor Lieberman who leads the Yisrael Beitenu faction. Without Lieberman’s five parliamentary seats, Netanyahu has no parliamentary majority.
Netanyahu also faces a likely indictment on corruption charges in the forthcoming months.
Israel’s attorney general has recommended pressing criminal charges against him in three separate corruption cases, pending a hearing scheduled for October.
If elections take place in September and Netanyahu wins, it is doubtful he would be able to garner political support for an immunity deal before an impending indictment, which would lead to Netanyahu facing trial.