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Israel is on its way to a third general election in the span of a year as the leaders of the two biggest parties in parliament remain unable to bring together a governing majority.

Members of parliament gave preliminary approval to a dissolution measure Wednesday, and are expected to finalize the process through several other rounds of voting throughout the day. That would set a new election for March 2.

FILE – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Cabinet Secretary Tzahi Braverman attend the weekly Cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Dec. 1, 2019.

Voters cast ballots in April and September, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and former military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party ended up nearly deadlocked with neither having enough seats for a majority.

After both elections, both party leaders were given a chance to try to form a coalition, but failed.

Recent opinion polls suggest the situation will be similar for the March election with support for the two parties remaining about the same.

Netanyahu and Gantz have blamed each other for the inability to find a solution. One possibility under discussion was an agreement between the parties to get together for a coalition with the position of prime minister changing sides on a rotating basis.

For now, Netanyahu, who is facing bribery and fraud charges that he denies, will remain in the role as a caretaker prime minister.
 

 
 
 
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