Press Releases of Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Source: Israeli Embassy

Israel General Election - voting begins this Thursday at Israeli Embassy

Already this Thursday, Israelis who live outside of Israel will be casting their votes for the next general election, 12 days later the rest of the country will follow in choosing the countries new parliament.

Following the impressive democratic process of the Ghanaian elections, Israelis will be taking to the ballots this month as well, and will be deciding for the ninetieth time who will represent them in the "Knesset" – The Israeli parliament.

The elections in Israel will take place on the 22nd of January, but here in Ghana, Israeli diplomats will be voting early so that the votes will have time enough to make it back to Israel on time. A ballot will be placed at the Israeli Embassy on January 10th where Ambassador Bar-li and her team will be casting their votes.

The term "Knesset" is derived from the ancient Great Assembly or Great Synagogue (Hebrew: Knesset HaGedolah) which according to Jewish tradition was an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the time of the development of Rabbinic Judaism – about two centuries ending c. 70 CE.

The basic principles of the Israeli elections are:

General: Every Israeli citizen aged 18 or older on Election Day has the right to vote, regardless of their ethnic group or religious beliefs.

National: The entire country constitutes a single electoral constituency. In Israel's proportional representation system, candidates represent national parties and not electoral districts or local constituencies.

Direct: The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, is elected directly by the voters, not through a body of electors. On Election Day, voters cast one ballot for a single political party to represent them in the Knesset.

Equal: All votes cast are equal in weight.

Secret: Elections are by secret ballot.

Proportional: The 120 Knesset seats are assigned in proportion to each party's percentage of the total national vote.

Knesset elections are based on a vote for a party rather than for individuals and the 34 parties that will compete for election to the 19th Knesset reflect a wide range of outlooks and beliefs. The number and order of members entering the new Knesset for each party corresponds to its list of candidates as presented for election. For example, if a party receives 10 mandates, the first ten candidates on its list enter the new Knesset. Every citizen aged 21 or older is eligible to be elected.