Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party, predicted Thursday that parliamentary elections will be moved up to the end of this year.
The speaker cited a fractured governing coalition, the upcoming US elections, as well as an expected upcoming crisis over the budget as indicators that the current government will not hold until the end of 2013 — when elections are currently scheduled — according to Ynet News.
Speaking Thursday to fellow Likud members at party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Rivlin said, “The current coalition will find it difficult to reach an agreement over the 2013 budget.” He added, “A party with 27 seats [in the Knesset] will struggle to pass a budget so conflicted in its priorities between socioeconomic needs and security considerations.”
The speaker’s statements came against the backdrop of a Yedioth Ahronoth article which claimed that Netanyahu was preparing to call for early elections.
According to the article, the prime minister may seek a consensus at the start of the Knesset’s summer session in May with respect to holding elections in September, 2012, more than a year ahead of schedule.