Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday that the elections for the 19th Knesset will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
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The date was featured in the draft of the bill to dissolve the current Knesset, released by the Prime Minister’s office on Thursday.
The bill to dissolve the Knesset was based on a draft that was presented last May, which was also approved by the Knesset committee for a second and third reading. Before the bill could be passed, Kadima and the Likud announced their move to form a unity government.
Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon, declared on Wednesday that the previous bill, which set the date for elections for September 4, cannot also be used for the current declaration of early elections, which means the Prime Minister’s office was forced to create a new draft.
The bill is expected to be discussed by the Knesset Legislative Committee on Sunday, and will be brought to the Knesset committee on Monday, which will deliberate on the bill as part of an expedited process.
Later, immediately following the celebratory ceremony led by the President marking the beginning of the winter session in the Knesset, MKs will begin to vote on approving the expedited bill and the immediate dissolution of the Knesset.
According to a poll carried out for Haaretz on Wednesday, Netanyahu remains the clear favorite for the top job, and has no serious challenger in the next election.
The poll, conducted by Dialog under the supervision of Professor Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University, shows that Netanyahu easily defeats all his possible rivals from the center-left bloc. As far as the public is concerned, Netanyahu is deemed much more suitable for post of prime minister than any of his potential rivals.
The candidate with the highest support after Netanyahu is Tzipi Livni, who has retired from political life. However, Livni, who is considering a return to political life, fails to muster more than half of the support attributed to Netanyahu (57 percent - 28 percent).