TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel might bump up elections

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 9:12 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Signs are growing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will call parliamentary elections as early as February, months ahead of schedule, in a bid to capitalize on a wave of popularity and a fragmented opposition to guarantee his hold on power for several more years.

While Netanyahu has not made any formal announcement, several members of his coalition, including his foreign minister and the speaker of parliament, have signaled that elections are imminent. An official decision could be made in the next week or two as parliament opens its fall session, with February the likely date of the vote.

Netanyahu has presided over a relatively stable period. Re-election could give him a fresh mandate to continue his tough stance toward Iran's nuclear program.

Elections are scheduled a year from now. But Israeli coalition governments rarely last their full terms, and Netanyahu appears to have concluded that now is the time to strike.

“Think of a stock: His is high now and he wants to sell before it drops,” said veteran political analyst Hanan Crystal. “Bibi has no real challengers.” he said, using Netanyahu's nickname. “The gold medal has already been decided. Now the fight is over silver.”

Opinion polls put Netanyahu's Likud Party far ahead of all rivals, his coalition partners are vulnerable, the opposition is fractured and leaderless, and the only truly viable candidate to replace him, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is entangled in a legal battle that will keep him on the sidelines for months.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
  2. Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
  3. Hospital leaders brighten holidays for kids
  4. No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
  5. DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
  6. Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
  7. Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
  8. Yesteryear journey follows familiar path to many newsmakers
  9. Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
  10. U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation
  11. Lower gasoline prices fail to spur consumer spending
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.