Rivlin: Elections May Be Postponed

Knesset Speaker says Gaza operation may require that national elections be rescheduled.

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Gil Ronen,

Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Speaker Reuven Rivlin
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said Monday that if Operation Pillar of Defense continues much longer, the date for national elections may have to be set back. Elections are currently set for January 22.

Rivlin told the Israel Hayom newspaper that if the operation does not end soon, both Likud and Labor will have to postpone their primaries. In that case, the general election will also be set back.

Labor and Likud are concerned that the security situation and the extensive call-up of reservists, including many party members and candidates, will make it impossible to conduct the primaries in a satisfactory way.

"If need be, we will have to convene the Knesset plenum for a special session during recess, and set a new date for elections," he said. He added that this may happen if the parties are unable to present their lists by December 5.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) agreed with Rivlin and said, "If the elections and primaries need to be postponed, we will postpone them. The most important thing now is to bring down Hamas's regime."

MK Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) said it was still "too early, wrong and improper" to talk about postponing party primaries or the general elections.

Elections were originally supposed to be held in late 2013, but the government decided to move them up to January, mostly because of the problems it encountered in getting the 2013 budget approved.