MK Shelah Warns of 'Early Elections' Over Budget

Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah accuses prime minister of forcing a 'showdown' with Finance Minister Lapid which could force elections.

Benny Moshe ,

MK Ofer Shelah
MK Ofer Shelah
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) on Saturday said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's handling of the new budget proposed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid could cause the government coalition to collapse.

"Netanyahu is turning the issue of the budget into a showdown with the Finance Minister, which may lead to new elections in the near future," Shelah, who is a close confidante of Lapid said at the weekly "Shabbatarbut" event in Tel Aviv.

The PM has been at loggerheads with Lapid over the new budget proposals, causing political gridlock; last Wednesday's budget meeting was pushed off to this coming Sunday as a result.

The Prime Minister's Office has said in response that it was in fact Lapid who had chosen to play politics with the budget as a means of forcing early elections.

Shelah also weighed in on the current ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, warning that there was a real possibility that hostilities could resume this week if negotiations continue to go nowhere.

Despite his warnings, recent polls suggest that if general elections were held today Yesh Atid would lose roughly half of its current seats.