JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin on Wednesday submitted a bill to dissolve the Knesset, the first step to enable early elections to be held. If the bill passes on Monday, elections for a new Knesset and new government are likely to take place on September 4, instead of the original date of October 22, 2013.
The bill must first be approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday, after which it is expected to pass its first, second, and third readings on Tuesday. If this takes place as expected, the last day of the 18th Knesset will probably take place on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying to find an election date that all his unruly coalition members can agree on. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office say Netanyahu would like to hold the election as soon as possible after the dissolution of the Knesset, which would be mid-August.
While he has the support of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu Party for August, United Torah Judaism in the coalition and Kadima in the opposition prefer mid-October, after the High Holy Days and Succot.
Since Netanyahu is working on a compromise, September 4 is the election date supported by most sources in the Knesset. Until the Knesset is dissolved, the election date is set for October 22, 2013.
Netanyahu is unlikely to make an announcement before the vote on dissolving the Knesset, because he is sitting shiva for his father, Benzion, who died Monday at the age of 102. Nevertheless, party leaders have been meeting with him during the shiva.