Netanyahu expected to announce date of Israeli elections next week (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Ophir Bar-Zohar 05/02/12)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to arrive at the Likud
party meeting next Sunday and announce the date of the next Israeli
Next Sunday, Netanyahu will finish sitting shivah for his late father
who died on Monday, and is expected to come to the Likud meeting and
announce when the elections will take place.
September 4 is one of the dates agreed upon by many officials -
Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon said during a conference held by
TheMarker on Tuesday that the elections will take place in the
beginning of September.
Netanyahu has asked Kahlon to work to expand the participation of
those on the Likud Knesset list. Netanyahu is likely worried that
most of the current Knesset members, who were selected in the last
term, will find themselves outside the next Knesset. Likud officials
expressed concern that Netanyahu intends to bring new faces to the
party, who may later be granted ministerial roles.
Should the elections take place in September, the Likud primaries
would be expected to take place in June.
Anticipating the coming elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
is already meeting strategic advisers and survey experts, a political
"Netanyahu´s associates are pressing him to push up the elections,"
the source said.
"Whichever way you look at it, the government will not make it to the
end of the year," a Likud source said.
Another Likud source said "Netanyahu doesn´t want to be the one to
push up the elections. He also doesn´t want to hold them after
failing to extend the budget."
One possible cause for holding early elections is the controversial
Tal Law, which exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from mandatory
military service. The law, which the High Court of Justice declared
unconstitutional in February, is to expire in August, compelling the
government to deal with the explosive issue.
Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz called on Saturday for pushing
elections up to October, while Labor and Meretz intend to submit
proposals to disperse the Knesset, which opens its summer session
On Saturday, Labor leader MK Shelly Yacimovich denied coordinating
her move to disperse the Knesset with Netanyahu. Political sources
said Yacimovich would not risk submitting the proposal without an
agreement with Netanyahu, because if the Knesset rejects the
proposal, she would have to wait six months until she could submit it
Yacimovich called on all the opposition parties to join her motion to
push up elections. "This is not the time for groundless slander and
petty politics. We all face the challenge of uniting forces and
toppling Netanyahu´s government," she said on Saturday. (© Copyright
2012 Ha´aretz 05/02/12)
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