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Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 10:56
Israeli PM opposes fresh election, calls for unity
By Xinhua
Tuesday, December 01, 2020, 10:56 By Xinhua

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the inauguration ceremony for the Shaar Hagai heritage site, the location of fighting during the war surrounding Israel's creation in 1948, outside Jerusalem, Nov 29, 2020. (ALEX KOLOMOISKY / POOL VIA AP)

JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said that he opposes attempts to call for a new election and urged his coalition partners to keep the current power-sharing government.

"On Wednesday, the opposition will try to drag Israel to unnecessary elections," Netanyahu said at the start of his right-wing Likud faction meeting. "The Likud will vote against elections and in favor of unity."

The chairman of the opposition said he intends to bring a bill to the parliament Wednesday to call for a vote to dissolve the parliament and hold a new election

Yair Lapid, chairman of the opposition and leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said that he intends to bring a bill to the parliament on Wednesday to call for a vote to dissolve the parliament and hold a new election.

ALSO READ: Israeli elections beckon amid mass protests, partisan wrangle

He urged the Blue and White, Netanyahu's main coalition partner party, to support the bill.

Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party and Israel's alternate prime minister, has clashed with Netanyahu over the delay in approving the state budget for 2020. Gantz demands the approval of the budget immediately but Netanyahu says that it should be postponed for the next year.

Netanyahu and Gantz formed their power-sharing government in May following the election in March in which no party gained enough votes to form a majority government. It was the third consecutive election in Israel in less than a year.

READ MORE: Netanyahu election lead shrinks, another Israel vote looming

Netanyahu has been facing growing public anger over the government handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis. In weekly rallies outside the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem and in cities and road junctions throughout the countries, thousands of Israelis call him to resign.

Netanyahu is also facing a criminal trial over corruption charges. His trial is scheduled to resume in January next year.  

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