New Delhi [India], October 21 (ANI): Over 4500 diplomats and their families from around 100 Israeli missions across the world including India began voting on Thursday for Israel's parliament elections scheduled for November 1, the Embassy of Israel in India said.
On November 1, Israel will hold an election for the 25th Knesset, the country's parliament. The staff of the Embassy of Israel in India also took part in early voting from here. This will be the country's fifth general election in four years.
This comes as the election was called in June after Israel's alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett handed the reins of his collapsing government to Prime Minister Yair Lapid after just over a year in power.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is widely forecast to garner the most votes, reported Times of Israel.
The voting was kicked off by the Israeli envoy to New Zealand Ran Yaakoby. He cast the first vote for the second time since taking up the post, reported Times of Israel. Envoy Yaakoby voted at a booth set up for diplomatic staff at the embassy in Wellington.
Yaakoby expressed concerns held by Israelis under fleeting governments since 2019. "Last year, I expressed hope that this would be my first and last vote during my four-year term and that the elected government would be stable and successful," Yaakoby said and added, "this year too, I offer this hope for us all."
After an early vote by the New Zealand envoy, 103 other ballot stations are being opened at 101 embassies and missions abroad. The final votes will take place in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Voting will end on Friday, reported Times of Israel.
In New York, the consulate with 750 eligible voters will host three ballot stations alone. Votes will be cast for the first time in Manama, Bahrain, and Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, where Israel has opened embassies since the last election in March 2021.
However, it is pertinent to vote that private citizens living abroad cannot vote unless they come to Israel. Though many soldiers on active duty will be able to vote as early as next week, reported the media portal.
According to the Central Elections Committee, 6,788,804 eligible voters will be able to cast votes at 11,707 ballot stations, plus several hundred more at hospitals, prisons, old age homes and for those in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic. As per Times of Israel, over 210,000 people were added to the voter roles since the last election. (ANI)