Elections As Early as March 2015?

Legislation on Opposition bills to dissolve the Knesset due to be voted upon Wednesday - and could see the coalition dissolve by January.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 11:24

Counting votes
Counting votes
Flash 90

The Knesset plenum will vote Wednesday on Opposition bills to dissolve the coalition in a preliminary reading, Likud officials told Walla! News Tuesday. 

In the event the bills pass on their preliminary reading, a discussion will begin in the Knesset plenum over a date of elections, to be agreed upon by all parties.

The expected date will be a Tuesday in March 2015, the officials said - as MKs and Ministers allegedly want elections as soon as possible, but are hampered by the fact that, by law, elections cannot be held earlier than 90 days after a Knesset vote on the decision. 

After a date is decided, various bills calling for the Knesset's dissolution are expected to be united into a single bill - and votes on the first, second, and even third readings required to pass the bill into law could be held as early as next week.

Technically, there is no reason why the votes cannot be held by next Monday, and for the coalition to fall within two weeks' time. 

Two separate motions have been filed to bring down the government - one from left-wing parties Labor and Meretz, and another from the hareidi parties

Both follow weeks of coalition tensions, after outspoken views against the controversial Jewish State Law took an intra-Knesset conflict between the left and right wing into Israel's streets. 

Conflict erupted over the ratification of the Jewish State Law, which aims to elevate the status of Israel's Jewish character in the legal system and concretize Israel's status as the Jewish national homeland. Ratification of the bill was a crucial part of Netanyahu's coalition agreement - and opposing votes threaten to torpedo that agreement. 

Despite this, several ministers - including Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni - have declared intent to oppose the vote regardless, prompting a furor over the possibility of new elections.

But the actualization of election threats has inched closer overnight, after a failed meeting between Lapid and Netanyahu Monday night, during which the Prime Minister gave him an ultimatum: accept five conditions set forth to follow through on budgetary transfers, freeze Lapid's own 0% VAT bill, and stop attacking the coalition over Netanyahu's decisions regarding construction in Jerusalem and relationship with the US. 

Analysts say the conditions may be nearly impossible to fulfill, leading to widespread speculation that Netanyahu might dissolve the Knesset or form some sort of alliance with the hareidi parties.


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