September 4 is emerging as the most likely date for upcoming Knesset elections, sources in the ruling Likud party confirmed Tuesday morning.
The date is later than Likud and its coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu had originally wanted, according to media reports which named August 14 as both parties’ preferred date.
Sources in the party said the date was not final and would likely be decided on next week when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes a final decision on whether to call early elections. Elections are currently scheduled for early 2013.
Likud is expected to introduce a bill to dissolve the current Knesset and call for general elections in the coming days or weeks, in a move widely seen as a stratagem to consolidate power. Recent polls have shown Netanyahu, the Likud, and the right-wing coalition maintaining control of the Knesset for another four years if early elections are called.
The September 4 date is before Rosh Hashana and significantly earlier than potential dates floated by many of the political parties, according to a Maariv report on Monday. Although Labor favors the September date, the smaller parties all favor elections in mid-late August or early November.
Kadima, currently the largest party in the Knesset, reportedly preferred a date in October, after the holidays.