Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Israel goes to the polls in two or three months

 Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference in Jerusalem (9 Oct)

Israel will go to the polls early. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday in a televised statement, that they will be held in two or three months instead of the end of next year. As his coalition government would not be able to agree on a national budget for 2013, he had "decided, for the benefit of Israel, to hold elections now and as quickly as possible," the Prime Minister said.
"In a few months, the tenure of the most stable government in decades will come to an end," Netanyahu said. "This stability has helped us achieve the two main objectives we promised the citizens of Israel – to strengthen security at a time when a dangerous upheaval is gripping the Middle East, and [to fortify] the economy during…a  financial turmoil."
"We must maintain a responsible economic and defense policy," Netanyahu added, "to ensure that Iran does not have a nuclear bomb." He said that early elections are a "national interest," and thanked the citizens of Israel for the privilege they have granted him.
 The prospect of early elections arose after minister Yishai (Interior) said his party, Shas, would not support wide-ranging budget cuts, particularly cuts to benefits for the elderly, single-parent families and the poor.
Observers agree that it is unlikely that Israel will attack Iran in the meantime. In fact Netayahu indicated already that much in his recent speech or the United Nations, when he positioned his 'red line' in the spring of just before the beginning of the summer. 

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