Israel is set to hold a third round of elections within 12 months, after a deadline to form a government passed with no politician able to bring together the disparate parties, The Guardian reports.
A time limit to forge a majority coalition in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, expired at midnight on Wednesday, automatically triggering a fresh national ballot.
By law, the poll cannot be held for three months, extending a political deadlock that has paralysed the country deep into next year. Lawmakers were debating late into the night on holding the vote on 2 March.
Israel has been gripped by political paralysis for the best part of a year after two inconclusive votes gave neither Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu nor his rival, Benny Gantz, a clear lead. Both men have attempted to cobble together a 61-seat majority, while also stalling each other’s plays for power. A final 21-day period in which any parliamentarian could be nominated as prime minister also ended with no frontrunner.