Bill Would Enable Direct PM Elections

The opposition yesterday submitted a proposal to hold early elections for the prime minister's seat, without dispersing the Knesset or altering the election system.

The bill, which was designed to replace Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and would mandate elections within 60 days, is not expected to pass. It was submitted by MK Yisrael Katz (Likud).

The initiative bypasses one of the main impediments to early elections - Knesset members' desire to remain in their seats. However, it contradicts the Basic Law on the Government. Any change to this law requires a 61-majority in the Knesset in three readings.

Even if Labor were to quit the coalition, there would be almost no chance of mustering 61 MKs to support a move that would provide MK Benjamin Netanyahu with an almost certain victory.