Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
decision to move up the elections has set off confusion over setting a date for the vote.
Netanyahu said in meetings on Tuesday evening that he prefers scheduling the elections for January 15, but some coalition lawmakers seem to disagree, sources say. The prime minister has also expressed willingness to postpone the date by a week or two, which would mean that voters would have to cast their ballots on January 22 or 29.
In either case, the elections will be held on a Tuesday and in the winter, details which may affect voter turnout.
The prime minister said on Tuesday that a shorter campaign season is in Israel's
best interest. In order for the vote to be held on January 15, the Knesset
will have to be dissolved on October 15, only hours after the winter session begins, in order to allow for the three-month recess required under the parliament's regulations.
Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, who was among the party leaders who discussed the matter with the prime minister on Tuesday, she said she prefers the vote to be set for January 29. Meanwhile, Kadima
Chairman Shaul Mofaz
told Netanyahu that his party is ready for the elections to be held on either of the proposed dates. United Torah Judaism
seconded the sentiment.
Officials in Yisrael Beiteinu
said that they would prefer the vote to be set for the earliest date possible in order to spare the state any unnecessary political, economic and security instability that could plague a longer campaign season.
Netanyahu said he would schedule a meeting ahead of Monday's Knesset session to resolve the scheduling issues.
There are currently 5,600,000 registered voters in Israel, Attorney Orly Ades, director of the elections committee said Wednesday. She however noted this is not a final number. An additional 400,000 voters will be able to vote in the coming elections compared with the previous vote at some 10,200 polling stations.