Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivilin on Tuesday called for the dissolution of the Knesset immediately at the start of the parliament's winter session, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said he has yet to decide on the matter.
Rivlin, who spoke during a visit to the West Bank outpost of Migron,
suggested that the disconcerting economic situation and the Knesset's difficulty to pass a state budget for 2013 make early elections unavoidable.
"If we are heading towards early elections," he added, "it would be best if the Knesset is dissolved immediately – within days or even hours from the start of the winter session – instead of delaying this decision for weeks."
The Knesset session is slated to open on October 15.
Rivlin with Netanyahu (Archive photo: Atta Awisat)
"The global economic crisis is threatening to sweep Israel,
and without a budget for 2013 this (development) could have disastrous implications for the socioeconomic situation and for the weaker sectors," Rivlin said. "The economy does not allow the state to function without an approved budget, which is why the elections should be held as soon as possible."
The speaker speculated that the elections are to be held in the first or second week of February, and that Netanyahu will be the one putting together the next government.
The prime minister said earlier this week that if the Knesset fails to pass a "responsible budget," the elections would be moved up. He said that he intends to make that decision by October 15.