Pages

Search This Blog

Translate

Search Tool




Mar 3, 2020

World Politics: Israel's Netanyahu may win the battle, but has a 'very long war' for his political survival: Stratfor

Abigail Ng




GP: Israel election Netanyahu 200303 Asia
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to supporters following the announcement of exit polls in Israel’s election at his Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Artur Widak | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading the pack, following the country’s third election in less than a year, but his political survival is not guaranteed, an analyst said Tuesday.
According to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Netanyahu’s Likud party has won 36 seats, with 90% of the votes counted. That puts him narrowly ahead of his main rival, Benny Gantz, but it may not be enough for him and his allies to secure a parliamentary majority.
“If they don’t by tomorrow, we’re moving back into a territory where we may see a fourth election on the horizon,” said Ryan Bohl, Middle East and North Africa analyst at Stratfor.
This election was called after two previous polls left Israel in a political deadlock with no majority in parliament.
“But even if they do, they push over to a 61-vote majority ... the corruption trial doesn’t go away,” Bohl told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.” Netanyahu is set to appear in court to face corruption charges on Mar. 17.
Bohl said the Israeli leader is likely to prioritize “immunity legislation” for himself, but that may not get past lawmakers.
“It’s a very open question about whether or not that legislation would survive a narrow, somewhat fractured coalition,” he said, noting that it has “ambitious” insiders who might like to replace Netanyahu.
“So, even as he may win the day and win the battle, there’s still a very long war for his own political survival, and the outcome is not guaranteed,” he added.
Jonathan Schanzer from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said another round of elections is “very possible.”
The Associated Press reported that exit polls saw Netanyahu and his allies winning 60 seats, just one seat shy of reaching a majority.
The prime minister could invite members of other parties to join his coalition in the Knesset, which has 120 seats, but it’s “hard to imagine” that happening at this point, Schanzer, the senior vice president for research at FDD, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”
He said that the next vote could happen three or four months from now.
“Of course, that’s bad news for the Israelis,” he said. “It’s expensive, it’s annoying, but certainly not out of the realm (of possibility).”
That may be what opposition candidates are hoping for, Schanzer said. “By then, Netanyahu will be standing trial, and that may change the equation entirely.”
However, as results continued to be reported, Avigdor Lieberman, the chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, said his party will act to prevent a fourth round at the polls, according to The Times of Israel. 
“We will do everything to prevent fourth elections. We will decide to go here or there,” he said. 
Lieberman previously held out and did not join forces with either of the two major blocs led by Netanyahu and Gantz.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.