Senior Official: 'Netanyahu is pushing for new elections'

Likud officials confirm that PM is eyeing fourth round of elections some time this fall if no budget deal can be reached with Blue and White

David Rosenberg ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is pushing for new elections this year, a senior political official said, according to a report by Channel 12 Monday morning.

The senior official, who spoke recently with Netanyahu, said that the prime minister is looking to end the short-lived political alliance with the Blue and White party, and send Israel to its fourth election in a year and a half.

Netanyahu is reportedly interested in having the early elections held this coming fall.

A separate report by Channel 12 Monday cited senior Likud officials who confirmed that the party is preparing for new elections this year.

Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen (Likud) said Monday morning that unless a deal can be reached with Blue and White for the passage of a one-year budget, the government will collapse and new elections called.

Cohen said that the Likud is not considering alternative plans to form a narrow rightist government, and that if Blue and White does not agree to pass a one-year spending plan, rather than the two-year plan Blue and White backs, new elections are inevitable.

“I’m in touch with the prime minister, and we aren’t talking about” forming a new government. “The only way to avoid elections is to pass a one-year budget. That’s the right thing for the State of Israel.”

“If we can’t get an annual budget, than I prefer to go to new elections, since that would free us from political games. Blue and White is sticking to the coalition agreements because of electoral considerations and their political positions.”