The Knesset voted Monday on a series of bills promoting the dissolution of the House, ahead of September's general elections.
The vote on the main bill, presented by the Likud faction, was carried through its first reading 109-to-one. The bill is expected to be presented for its second and third reading later tonight, effectively bringing the 18th Knesset's term to its end.
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The vote was preceded by a lengthy filibuster. Other proposals for the dissolution of the Knesset, presented by Knesset members Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, Uri Ariel (National Union), Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh and Dalia Itzik (Kadima) were also carried by a majority vote.
PM Netanyahu at the plenum (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan presented the House with the government's bill: "It is with great regret, sorrow even, that I hereby present the Knesset with the government's motion of dissolution," he said.
The 18th Knesset noted significant achievements, he added, including bolstering Israel's economy, security and standing vis-à-vis the global recession.
The bill was presented to the plenum following a favorable vote by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.
Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Likud faction that "I would have preferred to complete the government's term, but a short elections campaign seems like the right thing to do."
Netanyahu further thanked his ministers "for the excellent work the government has done… Our work and vision played a big part in our political stability and success… I hope the voters trust us again so we can create more stability in the face of the great challenges that lie ahead."
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