MK vote on dissolution
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Knesset dissolves itself ahead of early elections

Bill to dissolve 18th Knesset passes final reading with 100 in favor, none opposed; early elections set for January 22

The 18th Knesset voted to dissolve itself late Monday night ahead of early elections to be held on January 22. A hundred MKs voted in favor of the dissolution bill in its third and final reading, none opposed.


During the second reading Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely mistakenly voted against the legislation.  


The Knesset opened its winter session on Monday, only to disband a few hours later following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement last week of his decision to move up the general elections.


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The Knesset was originally scheduled to dissolve in the second half of 2013.


Earlier Monday, the Knesset opened its day-long winter session with speeches by Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.


"Those who belittle the Iranian nuclear threat on Israel are not worthy of leading Israel for even one day," Netanyahu told the plenum.


"Today we have the capabilities to act against Iran and its offshoots; capabilities that we did not possess in the past," he said.


Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who opened the winter session, said "the truth is that we have gathered here to disband. In the next few hours, the session that has just opened will end. Many Israeli citizens are wondering why. What is the justification for dissolving the Knesset at this time? Some claim the early elections are unnecessary. We should ask ourselves why so many citizens feel this way. Why there is a sense within the Israeli public that every election campaign is a waste of the taxpayers' money, a political masquerade.


"The Israeli public has grown accustomed to go to the polls due to political reasons; due to political ploys. On too many occasions we have gone to elections for the wrong reasons," he said.


But the next elections, according to Rivlin, are necessary. "These elections are the inevitable result of a democratic, healthy and vital debate. This Knesset is going to elections because it has failed to decide on cardinal issues related first and foremost to the social-economic debate in the State of Israel," the speaker told the plenum.


"In this situation, whereby the government does not have any partners that will help it pass the budget, it is the Israeli public that must rule on these fundamental issues by going to the polls."


The 18th Knesset was the most prolific ever, passing no less than 614 bills.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 10.16.12, 00:02
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