Israeli General Election this January

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced this evening (October 9th) that the general elections will be held early, within three months. The elections were originally scheduled for next October.

The main reason for holding an early election is the inability of the government to pass the budget for 2013, which is reported to hold many cuts. Netanyahu seeks a new mandate from the people to pass his proposed budget and also to receive backing for whatever lies in store in relation to Iran.

Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page this evening:

I thank Israel’s citizens for the tremendous privilege accorded me in serving you as prime minister and I am requesting a renewed mandate from the people to continue leading the State of Israel

photo: screenshot, youtube

The various political parties will have to hold primary elections in the short time remaining. In the ruling party, Likud, the current primary election rules dictate that at least 8 of the 28 current Knesset Members will not be reelected. The Labor Party, on the other hand, is expected to gain new ground and rise from an all-time low of 8 seats to somewhere around 20, according to polls. Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s party, Atzmaut, currently holding 5 seats may not have any seats at all in the next Knesset. The current second-largest party, Kadima, is predicted to plummet from its current 27 seats to less than 7. The National Religious Party (“Habayit Hayehudi”) is already scheduled to hold its first-ever primary election next month, and may become a bigger player in the next Knesset, depending on the outcome of their primary election.

The upcoming elections will bring much change to the political map in the Knesset, and we will most likely see many current MKs whose jobs are at risk, scurrying to find themselves new parties for the next Knesset.

For a more detailed explanation of the various parties in the Knesset, see my previous 2-part post on the subject:

Israeli Parties and Politics- Part 1

Israeli Parties and Politics- Part 2

Questions? Insights? Disagreements? Leave a comment!

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