Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not intend to advance the next general
election, which is set for October 22, 2013, he said in an interview with the
Russian-language Channel 9 that was broadcast Tuesday night.
spoke the day after he easily passed a controversial austerity package of tax
increases and budget cuts. The vote was seen as a bellwether indicating whether
he could pass the 2013 state budget, which is the main obstacle to completing
his term in office.
“My intention has always been for the government to
complete its term,” Netanyahu said. “When we considered advancing the election,
it was because we thought the coalition was unraveling. When it was proposed
that we expand the coalition, I was very happy. And even now I am interested in
The prime minister said the regional security, diplomatic and
socioeconomic challenges the country is facing required political calm. “Here we
have a stable and strong government that will complete four years for the first
time in decades,” he said. “I think this contributes to our ability to handle
such challenges. Elections will come when they will, but I don’t intend to
In a Channel 2 interview Netanyahu said he had been
interested in spearheading an election in September, which the press had
forecasted he would win. But he decided that it was more important to have the
widest coalition possible. “I think Kadima made a mistake when it didn’t enter
the coalition at the start of the term and I think they made a mistake when they
left now,” he said.
“There were things that could be
Netanyahu said that when the “Tal Law” expires Wednesday, there
will be no legal vacuum and the IDF can decide for itself which haredim to
draft. He then blasted Kadima for not compromising on drafting yeshiva students.
“I didn’t choose the haredim, I chose responsibility, not populism,” he said.
What [Kadima] is saying are slogans that look good on buses but everyone knows
they aren’t true.”
When asked why he tried to split Kadima, he said
sarcastically “When we try to expand the coalition, it’s an ethical disaster but
when other parties talk to the same MKs, it’s ideological and that’s
acceptable.” He joked that if the Likud won 65 seats in the next election, he
would build the smallest coalition in Israel’s history.
the question when Channel 9 asked him whether he wanted presumptive Republican
candidate Mitt Romney to win the November 6 US election.
“I’ve got enough
politics here,” he said.