Knesset plenum
Photo: Moran Azulay
Before dissolving, Knesset to reconvene next week
PM's decision to hold elections early means that parliament will break for campaign season only hours after winter session begins

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to move up the elections for the 19th Knesset has turned the parliament's schedule upside down. The lawmakers, who were expected to convene for a lengthy, action-packed winter session on October 15 will now report only for a few hours before breaking for the campaign season.


After the ceremonious opening of the winter session next Monday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin will dissolve the parliament as required under the legislative body's regulations. But first the MKs will have to set a date for next year's elections.


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The Knesset was expected to dissolve this past May when a bill to that effect was submitted by opposition factions and received the government's support. The bill was approved in a first reading in the Knesset plenum, but before the process could be completed Netanyahu struck a deal with opposition leader Shaul Mofaz, and the two announced the formation of a unity government. The agreement fell apart two months later, primary due to difficulties in reachin a compromise on a universal army draft.


Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, however, said Tuesday that the legislation to disperse the parliament will have to be passed anew, effectively scrapping the steps that were taken towards that goal in May.




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