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Israel’s parliamentary speaker resigns before court deadline on vote

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Israel’s parliamentary speaker resigns before court deadline on vote

Israeli parliamentary speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday announced that he would be resigning, after facing pressure from the opposition and a deadline from the Supreme Court.

His unexpected announcement opens the way for a vote to elect his successor, for which the court had set a Wednesday deadline.

Edelstein, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, had blasted the court’s interference in matters of the Knesset and said that they had undermined democratic principles.

He had blocked a scheduled vote to elect his replacement last week, dismissing parliament before it could take place.

In doing so, Edelstein ignored a letter signed by 61 parliamentarians and was accused of acting anti-democratically.

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Blue and White want to replace Edelstein with one of their own, but Netanyahu has threatened that such a move would prompt his party to pull out of power-sharing talks to form a unity government.

Israel is forming a new government after months of uncertainty and three inconclusive elections, the latest of which was on March 2.

But the stand-off between the right-wing and religious bloc surrounding Netanyahu and the centre-left camp around Benny Gantz of the Blue and White alliance continues.

Gantz received the order to form a government earlier this month.

(dpa/NAN)

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