National elections will be held as planned in November 2013, Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast on the Knesset Channel on Tuesday.
Contrary to predictions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might advance national elections, he asserted that he plans no such thing. “I do not exclude the possibility that we reach [November 2013]. This is a permanent process. I would not shorten the term,” Maariv quoted him as saying.
Having handily won the Likud party primaries last week with 74% of the vote, Netanyahu is standing on firm political footing. Despite the ruling coalition’s stability, Shmuel Rosner speculated in the New York Times that Netanyahu might seek to hold elections before the 2013 budgetary vote.
Whether or not his coalition will remain united until the 2013 is another question. Analysts have pointed at potential weaknesses in Netanyahu’s coalition partners. Shas party leader and Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Yisrael Beiteinu leader and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are both under investigation.
Lieberman is under investigation for charges of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering, and the state comptroller is due to publish a report about Yishai’s responsibility for the Carmel fire disaster. Haaretz wrote that the anticipated report will call for Yishai’s resignation from his post as interior minister.
A forced resignation of Yishai, or a conviction of Lieberman, could prompt early elections, analysts have said.