Tel Aviv, Dec 25: Israel’s coalition government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to face the electorate afresh calling for an early general elections to be held on April 9, 2019.
The cabinet and the parties in the coalition took the decision on Monday to disperse the Knesset this week and call for snap polls on April 9 next year.
“With God’s help, we will win”, Netanyahu said exuding confidence to form the same coalition government after the elections.
According to a report on Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu said that his coalition lasted for four years with various achievements in diplomatic, security and economic sectors. The Prime Minister explained that he could not hold the elections six weeks ago when the Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned creating a crisis in the coalition. The priority then was to destroy the tunnels on the Lebanese border in Operation Northern Shield, Netanyahu said.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called a meeting of the leaders of the coalition and opposition parties to formalize the process of dispersing Knesset and to come to agreement on the date of election.
Edelstein expressed pride in many of the laws the Knesset passed over its four years, specifically mentioning the Jewish Nation-State Law, but said he was disappointed in many lawmakers’ conduct and “verbal violence.” He expressed hope that the next Knesset will engage in more civil discourse.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said her ministry will begin working on the bill to dissolve the Knesset, which is set to be brought to all three plenum votes on Wednesday.
Following the announcement of an election, party leaders made statements declaring victory. Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman all predicted that they would become prime minister in the election and the Joint List’s Ayman Odeh said Israeli Arabs will come out to vote in droves.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it “the most important election since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.”