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Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will not run in November election

Announcement comes as lawmakers dissolve parliament having voted to hold an early election on 1 November
Naftali Bennett has served as the prime minister of Israel for a year.
Naftali Bennett has served as the prime minister of Israel for a year (AFP/File photo)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will not run in the upcoming Knesset elections, his office announced on Wednesday evening.

The announcement came as lawmakers dissolved parliament on Thursday having voted to hold an early national election on 1 November.

Bennett has served as the prime minister of Israel for a year, but once an election is called, he will be replaced by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. Until the election, he will remain on as the alternate prime minister.

If the prime minister chooses to leave politics, Bennett's deputy, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, is the likely candidate to lead the Yamina faction in the Knesset.

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Last week, Shaked held unsuccessful negotiations with the opposition in the hopes of forming an alternate government during the mandate of the current Knesset, instead of heading to the country's fifth election in just over three years.

A year ago, Lapid and Bennett came together and formed a rare alliance of right-wingers, liberals and Arab parties, which lasted longer than many expected.

The coalition, which ended the reign of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, came together with a razor-thin parliamentary majority, and the eight-faction alliance began to fracture when a handful of members abandoned the coalition.

However, the coalition's clearest sign of weakness came earlier this month when a bill extending Israeli civil law rights to settlers in the occupied West Bank was defeated in parliament. 

Netanyahu, now opposition leader, has been delighted by the end of what he has called the worst government in Israel's history. 

He hopes to win a sixth term in office - despite being on trial on corruption charges which he denies.

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