Election in Israel uncertain, UConn Hillel reacts

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Israel is preparing for what could be its third election of 2019 with still no results or a prime minister. 

Unlike the American political system, Israel has many political parties and 60 votes in Parliament are required for a party to reach a majority coalition, said Tom Barkan, University of Connecticut Hillel Jewish Agency Israel Fellow. 

In May, the first election was held in Israel and both of the most popular parties got between 30 and 34 votes, Barkan said. The election was repeated and the results were the same. 

“So no one can have a prime minister, because no one can form a coalition.  The person in charge of who gets to make the prime minister is the Israeli president,” Barkan said. “He is having rounds of discussion with every party that got seats in the Israeli Parliament. Each party recommends who, in their opinion, should be the Prime Minister.”  

Next, Barkan said the Israeli President gets involved.  

“The former prime minister is going to try – key word – try to build a coalition,” Barkan said. “If he is not successful it goes to the person, then the president could elect another person to get a shot in forming a coalition, and if he is not successful, then we could end up in a third election.”    

Repeated elections like this have never happened before in Israel, Barkan said. 

“This is the first time in Israeli politics that we ended up doing multiple things,” Barkan said.  

Work is currently on hold because of the holiday Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. 


Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at luke.hajdasz@uconn.edu.

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