Lieberman Wants Elections ´As Soon as Possible´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/30/12)
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday he wants elections "as
soon as possible."
Lieberman said early elections would be "in the interest of the
state," adding July would suit his Yisrael Bateinu party.
Lieberman said, "We will make a decision responsibly, which means
elections as soon as possible. I wish everyone luck."
His call comes as coalition partners reach an impasse over the
renewal of the Tal Law, which exempts Hareidi-religious soldiers from
service in the IDF.
Lieberman wants it repealed immediately, while Prime Minister
Netanyahu wants to first draft what he describes as a
more "egalitarian" and "just" law to replace it.
Head of the Sephardic Hareidi-religious party Shas, Interior Minister
Eli Yishai, has been willing to support such a law, but has argued
for time to increase the IDF budget and create a more robust system
of programs for Hareidi soldiers entering the IDF.
"We were hoping for compromises but it just didnít happen. No one is
to blame for the situation," Lieberman said. "The trick is to find
the balance between our obligations to the voters and our obligations
to the Coalition."
"We had to compromise vis-ŗ-vis our coalitional partners. It´s a
constant balancing act and I think we did well," he added.
Lieberman is convinced that his party will gain strength in the
The elections "will see two large parties that will anchor the
Coalition. I´m sure many parties will want to be part of it,
including Mofaz and Lapid. We´ll have options."
Meanwhile, Netanyahu told the Likud ministers this morning that he
would make a decision on new elections by the end of next week.
He stressed he wanted a feasibility study on early elections
completed before taking a final decision.
Netanyahu, whose father Bentzion Netanyahu died at 102 on Monday,
will be observing the traditional Jewish first week of mourning known
as "shiva" in the interim.
A Smith Research poll late last week indicated that Likud would win
more than twice as many seats than any other party if the general
election is pushed froward from its current 22 October 2013 date.
According to the poll, Likud would win 31 seats, Yisrael Bateinu and
Labor 15 each, Kadima with 13, Yair Lapidís new Atid Party 11, Shas
8, United Torah Judaism 6, National Union 4, and Jewish and Meretz 3
each. The three Arab parties would win a combined 11 seats.
Such an outcome would mark a stark blow to Kadima, which current
holds 28 seats. While having one more seat at present than Likud,
former party chairwoman Tzipi Livni was unable to form a coalition.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/30/12)
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