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Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Yachimovich seeks Knesset dissolution
Labor Party leader revives call for early elections after what she says was 'useless coalition's failure to formulate reasonable agreement on Tal Law'
Coalition's political crisis over the universal draft issue has revived the initiative to hold early elections: Opposition Leader MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) is intending to propose a bill calling for the 18th Knesset to be dissolved, Ynet has learned.  

 

Over the next few days she will attempt to recruit a majority vote for the bill.

 

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According to sources close to Yachimovich, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unity government has not proven itself and has failed to even reach agreements on the Tal Law which is meant to bring equality to the burden of service and so, the crisis should be ended through national elections.

 

Yachimovich's last such initiative, at the beginning of the current Knesset session created a major political uproar which was set to end in elections. Yet at the last minute the unity government put all thoughts of elections to rest.

 

Yachimovich's proposal comes on the background of the dissolution of the Plesner Committee on Monday. The committee was tasked with drafting an alternative to the Tal Law, which effectively exempted ultra-Orthodox from army service.

 

Netanyahu decided to dissolve the Committee after Yisrael Beiteinu, Habayit Hayehudi and haredi representative Yaakov Weinroth resigned.

  

'Public must decide'

In light of Mofaz's threats that Kadima would promote its own universal service initiative should the Plesner Committee findings not be implemented, senior coalition members admitted that there was a serious crisis and that Kadima would withdraw from the coalition if it wasn't solved by Wednesday.

 

Estimates that Israel will be heading to elections have now soared.

 

Yachimovich said that Netanyahu's coalition is setting a "new record of ridicule and futility," and has called on political parties to "join the Labor Party's initiative and head to the polls without delay."

 

Yachimovich will present her proposal together with Labor faction leader MK Yitzhak Herzog.

 

"The elections were supposed to go ahead in September and this natural course of events was prevented due to the Likud's and Kadima's cynical move for survival. (The two parties) that joined together in a huge and useless coalition even failed to formulate a reasonable agreement on the Tal Law issue," Yachimovich added.

 

"The public must now choose in the polls between the Likud led by Netanyahu and Labor under my leadership," she noted.

 

Meanwhile, Netanyahu is pressuring Kadima not to release the Plesner Committee recommendations. The prime minister's right hand man and former chief of staff, Natan Eshel, has spoken to Kadima officials and asked them to prevent the publication of the Plesner report.

 

However, sources close to Netanyahu denied that he made any such request. They nevertheless refused to address the content of the talks with Kadima.

 

Kadima officials on their part said they will not give in to the pressure and publish the recommendations as planned, on Wednesday morning. Senior faction members said that as things appear now it is highly likely that Kadima will return to the opposition.

 

 

 

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