Think tank: Since 1996, Israel had elections every 2.3 years on average

The Israel Democracy Institute think tank says that Israel, on average, has held elections every 2.3 years since 1996 — the year Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first took office — placing it in last place compared to some 20 other parliamentary democracies around the world.

“This unfortunate reality is the result of a combination of a deep-seated crisis of governance compounded by the unbearable ease with which early elections can called, while at the same time we have a prime minister who has ensured that the public interest is held hostage to the leader’s personal considerations,” says Prof. Ofer Kenig of the institute.

“When it comes to the average time in office for prime ministers, we are actually close to the top in comparison to other parliamentary democracies. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s long tenure in power places Israel in 6th place. However, of course this sense of stability is illusionary. While the prime minister has remained in office, the political system has suffered from high levels of instability for the past decade.”

Israel is followed by Greece (2.5 years), Spain and Japan (both 3 years), Iceland (3.1 years), Netherlands and Canada (both 3.2 years), according to the research, which comes as Israel calls its fourth election in two years.

Election campaign billboards for the Likud party shows Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Bnei Brak, Israel, March 1, 2020 (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)