Labor will support a bill calling for the dissolution of the present Knesset – that was the conclusion of Thursday's Labor Party meeting.
Labor Chief Ehud Barak seems inclined to support such a bill, should it be brought before the House for a preliminary reading. Labor ministers are expected to follow suit and vote in favor of the bill as well.
The party's willingness to support a dissipation bill coincides with Barak's previous demand that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is in the midst of an extensive police investigation and may face a future criminal indictment, step down.
According to Basic Law: The Knesset, the House can vote to dissolve itself, should the right circumstances – such as the resignation of the PM – present themselves. Should a bill of dissolution pass, the government becomes a transitional one, pending new general elections.
In any case, any motion of that nature must carry a proposed election date, which requires a consensus from all major parties.
Labor MKs Eitan Cabel, Ophir Pines-Paz, Danny Yatom and MK Shelly Yacimovich have already prepared a brief calling for the dissolution of the current Knesset.
The implications of a future bill of dissolution may have on the coalition are unclear at this time, since no one knows how Olmert will react to some of his ministers voting for an early end to the Knesset's current term.
The Knesset's House Committee, which has to prepare the bill, is headed by Kadima's MK David Tal. The committee has a long tradition of prolonging any debate pertaining to the dissolution of the House.
However, Labor's decision to support the dissolution of the Knesset may be meant to take some of the pressure off Barak, whose calls for Kadima to hold urgent primaries in order to replace Olmert – which have met somewhat of a tepid reaction – have rendered him a political bind.
If Labor back a prelim reading of a bill of dissolution, it will enable the party to stay in an Olmert-led transitional government; since even if the bill passes its first hurdle, the actual dissolution of the Knesset may still be months away.
Meanwhile, Shas officials said the party would support a bill calling for the Knesset's dissolution if they do not receive a response regarding the issue of child support payments prior to the bill's preliminary reading.
Amnon Meranda contributed to this report