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Netanyahu may try to avoid new elections in light of poor polling data

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels, Belgium on 11 December 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels, Belgium on 11 December 2017 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may seek to avoid fresh elections currently scheduled for September, in light of poor performances in recent polling, reported Ynet.

According to the article, “Likud sources” say Netanyahu has polling data showing that the new elections would “leave him in worse political shape than today”.

The September elections were called after Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition majority after April’s vote.

The sources cited in the report say that the polls indicate that “Netanyahu’s right-wing-Orthodox camp wouldn’t even make it to 59 seats” without Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Given 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”.

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Ynet added that “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”.

For now, however, the legal opinion “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”.

The report stated that “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”.

Once the law was approved, the Supreme Court “would likely prefer to avoid conflict with the political echelon and decline to cancel the legislation”, Ynet concluded.

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IsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNews
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