(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Coalition chairman Ze'ev Elkin submitted a bill to dissolve the Knesset on Wednesday, which will be put to a vote on Monday, bringing an early election that is likely to take place on September 4.
Following agreements by most parties in the coalition and opposition, the bill is expected to be approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday, which will accelerate the legislative process and put the bill to a preliminary Knesset vote on Monday.
The bill's first, second and third readings are likely to take place on Tuesday, finalizing early elections. The last day of the 18th Knesset is expected to be on Wednesday, the ninth of May during which final bills will be passed.
Rivlin said that after speaking with all of the factions, he is sure that the votes on dissolving the Knesset will begin next week, although the date of an early election has yet to be decided.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been working to find a date for elections that all coalition parties will agree to, and plans to meet with Shas chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Wednesday afternoon.
Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office say Netanyahu would like to hold an election as soon as possible, which would be mid-August. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said the same on Monday. However some coalition parties, including United Torah Judaism, and Kadima in the opposition, said they prefer October, after the High Holidays and Succot.
Since Netanyahu is working on a compromise, September 4 is the election date supported by most sources in the Knesset. Until the Knesset is dissolved, the election date is set for October 22, 2013.
A Shas spokesman said the party wants an election to be as soon as possible, but will agree to September 4. Yishai met with Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz earlier Wednesday, and the two said early September is a good time to go to the polls.
Netanyahu is not expected to make an announcement prior to the Knesset’s dissolution. However, party leaders have met with him as he sits shiva for his father, Benzion Netanyahu, who passed away on Monday at age 102.