(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Knesset House Committee and then the Knesset plenum are set to vote Monday to disperse the parliament, barring last-minute political developments that could delay the vote.
The Likud vigorously denied reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman one last time to enable him to form a coalition with Shas and United Torah Judaism without elections when he paid a shiva call at the foreign minister’s Nokdim home Saturday night.
Yisrael Beytenu issued a statement explaining why it opposes the establishment of an alternative government.
It cited the failure of the short-lived alternative government deal Netanyahu reached with Kadima head Shaul Mofaz in 2012.
“Such a move would only postpone the inevitable and nothing more,” Yisrael Beytenu said. “In an alternative government of 61 Knesset members, each MK could threaten and blackmail, which would lead to the continuation of instability.”
The party said there was no point in wasting billions of shekels on a fragile alternative coalition that would at best last only a year “Even though we do not believe this is the right time for the state to go to elections, the option of forming another government now is even worse,” the party said.
“If it is inevitable that we are going to elections, it must be done the right way, without shticks, tricks, and stinking maneuvers.”
The haredi (ultra-Orthodox) parties also reiterated Sunday that they would not join the coalition without elections. They said one reason was that they wanted elections that are expected to result in Yesh Atid losing half its power.
The Knesset House Committee met Sunday to approve regulations for fundraising during the election campaign. The committee approved a new system of loans for parties directly from the Treasury’s party funding allocations, bypassing the banks.
The move was expected to include a clause barring new parties, who receive less funding from the state, from receiving loans from banks. But in a boost for the party being formed by former social welfare minister Moshe Kahlon, the committee decided to exempt new parties from the new system and continue to allow them to take such loans.
In another development for Kahlon’s party, former police inspector-general Moshe Karadi participated in a political rally for the party Sunday night in a northern agricultural community.
Karadi is expected to be a candidate on Kahlon’s list for Knesset.
Later on in the day Monday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni are set to meet to discuss forming a political alliance for the upcoming elections, Israel Radio reported.