Oct. 11, 2012, midnight
On Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NETANYAHU announced early parliamentary elections to take place in January /February 2013. NETANYAHU, leader of the right-wing Likud Party, has cited parliament’s inability to agree on a budget by the December 31, 2012 deadline as the main reason for these elections, which are approximately eight months ahead of schedule.
Recent opinion polls suggest that the Prime Minister will most likely be re-elected by having a parliamentary majority. The Israeli parliament (Knesset) has a total of 120 seats, and NETANYAHU’s Likud party occupies 28. Yet it exercises a majority when combined with the party’s traditional allies like the nationalist and Jewish parties. Analysts contend that in the 2013 elections, the Likud and its allies could collectively gain a majority of 62-68 seats in parliament.