Foreign Minister and head of Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman said he will work to ensure that general elections take place as soon as possible so that his party can become the second largest in the Knesset.
Lieberman, who spoke at the first Yisrael Beiteinu faction meeting of the parliamentary session, said that "the party's preferred date for the election is June 14," adding that during the campaign "everything goes into the freezer. If we can hold elections next week, we will be ready by next week."
Lieberman also expressed hope that the next government will focus on internal affairs. "I have said from the beginning that it is doubtful if we can reach a breakthrough in the peace process, and we should focus our efforts on internal matters rather than foreign affairs."
"My belief is that changes in the system of government, as well as religion and state are much more important than other things," Lieberman said.
In the Kadima faction meeting, newly-elected chairman and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz stated that the party is not yet ready for elections. "Kadima will be ready for the challenge of elections at all times, be it this year or August or September. Mofaz also said that his faction supports an election for October 16, and said that he is not worried from by the polls which predict a downfall for his party. "We will work hard, and will not be influenced by polls – we will influence the polls. We are the only alternative to the Netanyahu government."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who spoke at the Atzmaut party meeting, denied claims that party members will be listed under the Likud ballot, saying the rumors were spread by "people on the margins of Likud."
At the Shas faction meeting, party leader Eli Yishai told his faction that early elections are inevitable. "The campaign train has left the station," Yishai said. "It is clear that up until the election there will be a lot of incitement against the Jewish tradition and Jewish values."
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