- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

Israel Faces Elections; Timing Unclear

That Israelis will be going to the polls shortly to elect a new government now seems a certainty with only the timing remaining at issue. Dates being discussed range from August 14; to September 4; to the first week in November, and will be settled in the near future. Banking on the strong position his Likud party holds in all current polls, Prime Minister Netanyahu is pushing for the earliest possible date in order to play on that strength and deny his opponents time to organize and campaign. All seem to agree that five months hence is the outside date for the election which opens the door to a possible re-alignment of the governing coalition. With most of the belief that  Netanyahu and Likud will form the next government, speculation is growing over whether Netanyahu will reach an agreement to bring parties into his new coalition that are currently in opposition. Many pundits believe recently deposed Kadima party head Tzipi Livni sealed her fate when she passed up a deal that would have given her a senior role in the Netanyahu coalition. Her successor, newly-elected Shaul Mofaz, is already characterizing the upcoming election as a head-to-head race for the prime minister’s job between himself and Netanyahu, a description very few share.