PM: I don´t intend to bring forward elections (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL HOFFMAN 03/25/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Likud ministers on Sunday that
reports suggesting that he was considering moving up the next general
election by more than a year were incorrect.
The official date for the next general election is October 22, 2013.
But Yediot Aharonot reported over the weekend that Netanyahu was
mulling advancing the race to the beginning of September 2012.
The report listed several reasons, including Netanyahu´s good
standing in the polls, catching his political rivals off guard,
preempting the American election, and the difficulties in passing the
next state budget and a new system for drafting yeshiva students.
"I have no intention to bring forward the election," said
Netanyahu. "I am in no rush at all."
Netanyahu, who will celebrate the three-year anniversary of his
government´s formation on Saturday, said the reports were based on
incorrect analysis. In an unusual request, he urged the Likud
ministers to "send text messages immediately" to leak his quotes from
the closed-door meeting at the Prime Minister´s Office in Jerusalem.
On February 1, Netanyahu preempted headlines suggesting early
elections when he told his supporters at his Likud leadership race
victory speech at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds that “there is still time”
before Israel will head to the polls.
Five days later, in an interview with the Knesset Channel, Netanyahu
spoke about an election being held on time as a realistic possibility
and said “I would not shorten this term.”
But Netanyahu´s advisers have cautioned him against waiting too long
to initiate the next election, warning him that both he and the
Israeli economy have reached their peak and can only go down, while
the cost of living and support for other parties will rise.
A senior adviser said he told Netanyahu that the ideal time to
initiate an election would be after Tuesday´s Kadima primary, when he
expects turf wars to intensify in the Center-Left among Kadima,
Labor, and journalist Yair Lapid’s as-yet unformed party.
If Netanyahu did decide to advance the election, he would likely take
into account that due to a quirk in the law, if the election would be
before October 23, the next term would be four years but if the
election would be from that date onward, the next term would be five
The Basic Law states that “if the Knesset decides to dissolve itself,
the next Knesset’s term will last until the [Hebrew calendar month]
Heshvan following four years since the day of its election.”
The law specifically names the third Tuesday in Heshvan as Election
Day, except in years after a leap year on the Hebrew calendar, in
which case the election would be held on the first Tuesday of Heshvan.
The year 5776 is a leap year. The first Tuesday in Heshvan 5777 is
the seventh day of the month, which in 5773 falls on Tuesday, October
23, 2012. Therefore, if the Israeli election is held before that date
in 2012, the next election will be set for Heshvan 7, 5777, which
corresponds to November 8, 2016. If the election is held after that
date in 2012, the next race will not be held until the third Tuesday
of Heshvan in 5778, which is November 7, 2017 – a full year later. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/25/12)
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