Benjamin Netanyahu

Fearing lackluster performance, Netanyahu may try to dodge fresh elections

Likud sources say polls show PM likely to come off worse in repeat vote in September, which could lead him to seek a new coalition with Blue and White in order to keep hold of reins of power

Likud sources say that Benjamin Netanyahu has polling data showing that the September elections - called after he was unable to form a coalition government in the wake of the April vote - would leave him in worse political shape than today.



The polls show, claims these sources, that if the elections were held today, the Netanyahu's rightwing-Orthodox camp wouldn't even make it to 59 seats without Avigdor Liberman and his Yisrael Beytenu party - the very ones who scuppered his chances of building a coalition last time.


Benjamin Netanyahu after the vote to dissolve the Knesset in May 2019 (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Benjamin Netanyahu after the vote to dissolve the Knesset in May 2019 (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


In this situation, Netanyahu would rather cancel the September elections and try to reform a government – perhaps a joint coalition with chief political rival the Blue and White party – in order to avoid a national ballot that would most likely end up with President Reuven Rivlin tasking someone else with forming the next government.


Over the last few days, Likud has checked the option of cancelling the dissolution of the Knesset that Netanyahu initiated in May, talking to both members of the current coalition and representatives of the Arab parties that would most likely oppose such a step.


The problem is that the legal opinion currently being given unofficially by Knesset legal advisor Eyal Yinon and other senior judicial officials is it is impossible to cancel the dissolution of the Knesset by law.


Avidgor Liberman (Photo: Avi Moalem)
Avidgor Liberman (Photo: Avi Moalem)


But those in Netanyahu's inner circle are planning to work around this by allowing a Likud MK to submit a private members bill that would allow the dissolution to be overturned, and would work to pass it in the plenum, against the advice he received.


Then, once the law was approved, the High Court of Justice - which would decide on any bid to overturn it - would likely prefer to avoid conflict with the political echelon and decline to cancel the legislation.


פרסום ראשון: 06.24.19, 15:26
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